When someone is facing a cancer diagnosis, having a strong support system can make a significant difference. Treatment can be scary and lead to a lot of questions. But when patients surround themselves with others who’ve been there—or are going through something similar—they often experience better outcomes.
Supporting patients with colorectal cancer is the mission of the Connections support group. Connections began in 2016 when a local colorectal cancer survivor recognized a need for a group dedicated to educating and supporting patients facing colon cancer. The group is facilitated by survivors and attended by healthcare professionals from UnityPoint Health, OSF HealthCare, Central Illinois Endoscopy Center and Peoria Surgical Group.
Meeting time is divided between cancer education and peer support through sharing of personal challenges and successes. Past educational topics include cancer biomarkers, ostomy care, the benefits of massage and pelvic floor therapies. Participants are under no pressure to share, and members are reminded to keep what they hear in the group confidential.
Connections meets the first Monday of each month from 5:30 to 7:30pm. For more information, call UnityPoint Health Supportive Oncology Care Specialist Greta Whittemore at (309) 672-5785 or OSF HealthCare Nurse Navigator Amanda Wright at (309) 655-7381. iBi