Avalanche lilies are the symbol for the Sooke Region Women's Cancer Support Society.

Avalanche lilies are the symbol for the Sooke Region Women's Cancer Support Society.

Support for women is there when needed

Sooke Region Women's Cancer Support Society - a safe haven for sharing

Women impacted by breast or gynecological cancers often face many unknowns. These can lead to fear, a sense of isolation and anxiety.

To ease the transition into the world of cancer and its repercussions, a group was formed in Sooke in 2011. The Sooke Region Women’s Cancer Support Society is a group of women who share, talk and provide information to each other. They provide names of service providers and they help women navigate and network with people in the community.

“For a lot of women you can just never assume they don’t need a group and comfortable place to share,” said Phoebe Dunbar, one of the original organizers and a cancer survivor. “There’s a really nice human factor about it.”

It all started when the hikes up the Kludahk Trail to view the avalanche lilies were used as a fundraiser for the newly formed cancer support group. Every since they have used the hardy,   annual avalanche lily as a symbol of hope and survival.

Mary Dunn, a health practitioner and another of the original founders of the group, said some of the members are women who have been newly diagnosed and others are eight years on.

“Newer members can take away some of the fear of the unknown,” said Carey Redsma, a cancer survivor.

“Even though every woman’s treatment is different, someone can provide information and support,” said Dunn.

The group is facilitated by health care practitioners but it isn’t an evening of lectures and talks, although they do at times have guest speakers. What it is about is women who have a common situation getting together to talk about it. Some people may not want to talk, they may just come to listen.

“You can come sit in and listen, you don’t have to tell your story – you can have a cup of tea and just listen,” said Redsma. “Come sit in an see if it’s for you.”

Dunn said one of the benefits of a group such as this that is for women only, it that they can talk about stuff they wouldn’t necessarily talk to their family or friends about.

There is no set agenda and they talk about whatever comes up. It is private and confidential and the location is private as well, which the society is very grateful for.  The members range in age from mid-30s to their 70s.

They try to promote a healthy lifestyle and that could be anything from sharing recipes to hiking together. Staying healthy is a lot of the focus.

The Sooke Region Women’s Cancer Support Society meets once a month, on the second Tuesday of each month at the Sooke Harbour House Potlatch Room from 7 to 9 p.m.

“It’s a good thing we’ve got a group but it’s so bad there are so many new diagnoses,” said Redsma.

Just Posted

sig
MAYOR’S MESSAGE: A time of sorrow and celebration

Sooke is proudly a Compassionate City, writes Maja Tait

HMCS Corner Brook returned to Victoria’s waters for the first time since 2015 on June 10. (Courtesy of the Royal Canadian Navy)
WATCH: Navy surveillance submarine returning to Victoria waters

HMCS Corner Brook one of first submarines to receive new communications systems

A new multi-family residential project at the corner of Hillside Avenue and Cook Street will feature nine below market-priced units aimed at middle-income, first-time homebuyers, through a partnership between BC Housing and the developer. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Middle-income first time homebuyers gain access to nine homes in Victoria

BC Housing partners with development community to create affordable purchases

(Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 exposure closes Oak Bay pub, restaurant

Penny Farthing, Vis-a-Vis expected to reopen Wednesday after deep clean

Victoria police officers used less-lethal weapons to arrest a woman Sunday night after she allegedly attacked a man with a hammer. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police use less-lethal weapons on woman following hammer attack

Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team called to barricade situation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Most Read