When Kathy was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 1999, she started attending SHARE's daytime support group for women with metastatic disease and found it extremely helpful. As beneficial as it may have been for her, Kathy's involvement was a great benefit to SHARE as well, since she has spent the last decade giving back to SHARE. Her focus has been on women with metastatic breast cancer.
"SHARE's metastatic support group was so therapeutic for me," says Kathy. "It really saved my life -- my emotional life. There was only so much that my family or friends could do. Being able to talk to others going through a similar experience gave me such comfort."
Kathy started taking calls from home on SHARE's Breast Cancer Helpline (866-891-2392) about nine years ago, serving as a peer for callers facing Stage IV breast cancer. (After one year at home, she began answering SHARE's Breast Cancer Helpline in the office, spending six years supporting and listening to women facing all stages of breast cancer.)
Because she knew the value of a support group for women facing metastatic disease, Kathy facilitated an evening support group at SHARE called "Living with Uncertainty" for about three years. This is a great group for those unable to attend in the daytime. "Living with Uncertainty" currently meets twice a month at 6:30 PM with Joan M. as facilitator, and women with metastatic disease can join any time.
Currently, Kathy assists Christine Benjamin, SHARE's Breast Cancer Program Director, in planning and delivering programs for women with metastatic disease, including a recent workshop for caregivers with Beth Taubes, RN (see below for upcoming programs). She also facilitated a webinar to assist helpline volunteers in answering calls from women with metastatic disease.
When Kathy's mother sadly passed away last year, she asked friends and family to give to SHARE in lieu of flowers. That money was used to support a special evening for women with Stage IV cancer and their loved ones at La Palapa Restaurant. It was such a popular program that SHARE continues to host these special evenings. The next one is at Trinity Place Restaurant on June 24.
So, thanks to Kathy (and to our other wonderful volunteers and community members), SHARE offers a range of services for women facing metastatic disease. Here are those mentioned above, as well as a couple of additional services: