Directors of the Sooke Region Women’s Cancer Support Society include, back row, left, Janet Rayner Thorn, Mary Dunn, Mimi Weldon, and Phoebe Dunbar. Front row, left, Loretta Rose and Shayna Chamitoff. Woman experiencing cancer are invited to join the Women’s Cancer Group. (Contributed photo)

Women’s Cancer Group offers caring, emotional support

Group is open to any woman who is impacted by cancer

Living with cancer or living with the fear of recurrence presents several challenges. Getting caring, emotional support can be one of them.

Even with the support of loving family and friends, giving and receiving support from those who have experienced or are experiencing cancer can help one feel less alone and overwhelmed.

The Women’s Cancer Group provides that support.

The Sooke group is open to any woman who is impacted by cancer, not just breast cancer. This is a safe place where a person can learn that it is possible “to pick up the pieces.”

Over the last six years more than 32 Sooke Region women have benefited from participating with the Women’sCancer Group, while others have reached out and received individual support.

There is no cost to participate, new members are welcome to visit with the small group that meets once a month(the second Tuesday of each month).

The groups are facilitated by medical and health care professionals who live in the Sooke region: Mary Dunn, Dr.Shayna Chamitoff and Dr. Mimi Weldon. They are volunteers.

Participation is treated with the utmost confidentiality and respect. Members of the group include those who have had a recent shocking and scary diagnosis, those starting to navigate the treatment options, and the survivors. If one is not sure if the group is for them, it’s OK to drop by for a visit and see if this may be a fit for you.

One of the group’s newest members, Maggie, wrote: “Because everyone has been through similar ordeals I feel I can talk plainly about some of the challenges that I am facing both physically and emotionally. I am very grateful Idon’t have to drive to Victoria to get support. The participants and facilitators have given me useful information as well as concrete strategies to help me cope with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and its effects on my life. I am so thankful for this group.”

As well, some of the members have been living with cancer for more than 5 years and bring positive experiences to the group – how they choose to feed their souls, embrace and live a balanced and healthy lifestyle, and feel inspired by what’s possible.

In addition to the monthly meetings the society is planning a retreat for women next fall where participants may learn about and experience different healing paths.

To find out more about the Sooke Region Women’s Support Society, the monthly meetings and information about other forms of individual support, contact Mary Dunn at 250 646 2554 or email her at Checkout the website at or Facebook

– Contributed by Women’s Cancer Group

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