Monday, June 1, 2009

Community Cancer Services Offers Extensive Services for Cancer Patients and Their Families

When Debra Rawuka was diagnosed with breast cancer in February last year, she worried about many things, but most of all she was concerned about her kids.

“I was really worried about how they were going to take it,” said Rawuka of her two daughters, 11 and 12 years old.

But thanks to Community Cancer Services, Rawuka found help for not only herself but also her children.

“I had read about Community Cancer Services before,” said Rawuka. “Then I read it and thought ‘that’s me now!’”

After being diagnosed, Rawuka visited Community Cancer Services and found that there were many services available including a women’s support group for her, a children’s support group for her children and local prosthetic fittings for post mastectomy women so they don’t have to travel to Coeur d’Alene or beyond.

“Because this is such a little town, it was really surprising how many services there were available,” said Rawuka.

She said one of her daughters was initially reluctant to attend the children’s support group, but after she went she really enjoyed it.

“I think it helped them to realize it happens to other people too,” said Rawuka.

Community Cancer Services relies upon donations from the community to keep its doors open and to be able to continue to serve cancer patients in the community. But with the declining economy have also come fewer donations.

“It is difficult because everyone is struggling to make ends meet,” said CCS Board President Stefanie Nostdahl. “But imagine also being diagnosed with cancer. It is these people who desperately need help and we need to do what we can to assist them.”

Some of the many services provided by Community Cancer Services include gas vouchers to help with transportation to and from treatments and medical appointments, prescription assistance, support groups for men, women, caregivers and children, a lending library and yoga classes.

Now on the road to recovery, Rawuka said she is so thankful for the support she received from Community Cancer Services. She continues to attend support groups and has found she has already been able to help other women who are on the same path she was just over a year ago.

“It is nice to get together with other people that were in the same boat I am,” said Rawuka. “And it’s also nice to be able to help other people too.”

Community Cancer Services is located at 1215 Michigan Street, Suite B in the Westside Center. Please call 255-2301 to learn more about their services or how you can volunteer. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, please mail it to the address above and a receipt will be mailed to you.

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