Oaklawn Announces "Partners in Cancer Recovery" support group

Receiving a cancer diagnosis affects not only the patient, but also the loving people who surround that patient. Both patient and support person have questions, concerns, and a genuine need to connect with others walking the same path. To address this need, Oaklawn's Oncology Department is partnering with Outpatient Psychological Services to provide a support group called "Partners in Cancer Recovery." The group will meet in the new Ricketson medical Building on Madison Street across from the hospital, starting August 26th (6-8 pm) and continuing the last Thursday of each month (except December). It is free, voluntary, and open to anyone who is experiencing cancer as a patient or a support person (such as a spouse, adult child, significant other, etc.).

Maureen and Bill DeBroux are such a couple. They are dealing with the return of Maureen's lung cancer. She is receiving treatment to shrink the tumors. Both will be receiving support from others and coping strategies from invited speakers at the monthly meetings. They'll also be sharing their own strength with others. This Marshall couple hails from Wisconsin and came to MI due to a military transfer. Now retired from the Air National Guard, Bill works as a starter at Cedar Creek Golf Course, where both enjoy golfing. During their thirty-plus years together they have faced challenges, raised children, and are clearly devoted to one another. Bill, facing some memory challenges, is concerned about taking good care of Maureen. This is exactly the kind of concernĀ the group will address in its choice of outside speakers.

The group's leader, Oaklawn psychologist Marilyn Cooke Strobel, has worked with cancerĀ  patients and their families for 22 years, as well as having experienced cancer in her own family. Research shows that cancer patients who participate in support groups live longer and have a better quality of life. Strobel has facilitated Oaklawn's lively Breast Cancer Support Group for eight years. She is looking forward to working with Maureen and Bill, and many others, to enhance their lives and encourage them in sharing their strength with others in the group. For further information, or to join the group at the first meeting, contact either Strobel at (269) 781-9119 or Deanna Bitner at (269) 789-7026.

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