Reading material for the newly diagnosed from seasoned peers
The Young Hearts group at Hearth Place cancer support centre in Oshawa was created at the request of young adults between the ages of 20 and 40 who were dealing with cancer.
“Many had attended other groups Hearth Place offered, but found their life issues differed from those that older adults were facing,” said Danielle Grandmaison, a social worker who was one of the group’s co-facilitators along with Wendy O’Dell.
The group was originally scheduled to meet for eight weeks, but the members wanted to keep meeting after the time was up.
“New members–men and women–continued to join. Many common themes emerged as we met over the weeks [such as] anger, coping with fear, grief, managing treatment, helping kids and other family members deal with cancer, fertility issues, and having a life after diagnosis. We decided that the members of this original group would continue to meet occasionally as an alumni support group and also remain connected through Facebook. A new group would start at Hearth Place for young adults newly diagnosed,” said Grandmaison.
As the group was winding up, they wanted to share their learned ideas and personal experiences with other young adults dealing with cancer. They created the Young Hearts booklet as a way to pass on some of the wisdom they gained from the group. It is available as a printed edition, and we have included the digital version here.
Please read it, and feel free to pass it along to others who might appreciate it as well.
If you are interested in a printed copy, please contact Danielle Grandmaison at (905) 723-0036 or:
Oshawa Community Health Centre
Attn: Danielle Grandmaison
115 Grassmere Avenue
Sadly, one of the women in the group, Barb, died the month the project was completed. They have dedicated project to her memory.