Power of Hope Offers Support
By Public Relations Specialist Connie Irrigoo
National Cancer Survivors Day, recognized in June, is a day where people impacted by cancer come together to celebrate milestones, get connected, and recognize those who have supported them along the way. Southcentral Foundation offers cancer prevention learning opportunities and support services for anyone in the community going through cancer treatment, cancer survivors, caregivers, and support partners.
SCF customer-owner Marge Parker received the news of her cancer diagnosis a week after she had an annual mammogram in 2006. “I received the results letter after my annual mammogram, it did not say good results, a normal mammogram,” explained Parker. “A week after receiving the results of the mammogram, an Alaska Native Medical Center surgeon called me to schedule surgery.”
A frequent participant in several SCF programs including exercise, Elder Program, and learning circles, Parker knew SCF offered support services to help her navigate the breast cancer diagnosis. She learned about the Power of Hope learning circle that offers participants healthy methods for preventing, managing, and surviving cancer.
Parker knew she could talk with her integrated care team, and she could discuss milestones, feelings, and concerns about her cancer experience in a caring atmosphere through the Power of Hope. Power of Hope is offered through SCF Health Education.
“Southcentral Foundation Health Education offers cancer prevention learning opportunities and support services; a network of support is available for customer-owners and their families to navigate a cancer diagnosis,” shared SCF Health Educator Julie Stayden. Two learning circles are offered for Power of Hope and are held via Zoom from noon to 1 p.m., on the second and last Thursdays of every month.
Parker is thankful she didn’t have chemotherapy or radiation. She had a lumpectomy, and soon after, a mastectomy at ANMC. “I had some anxiety, worries, and fears,” she shared, “I still thank God I am a cancer survivor; it’s been 15 years!”
Since the cancer diagnosis, Parker participated by Zoom in the Power of Hope and is staying in good physical and emotional shape. She plans on continuing to be active and will attend in-person support services when it is safe to return.
If you or someone you know is considering screening and prevention, has been diagnosed with cancer, or looking for support, help and resources are available. Wherever you are in your journey, SCF will meet you there.