A life-changing experience

On October 29, 2008, I was diagnosed with cancer. That same month the Gathering Place West opened its doors to cancer patients and their families. This was a life-changing experience for me.

I'd like to tell you a little about the Gathering Place West. Located at 800 Sharon Drive in Westlake, it is especially convenient to the Westshore community.

The Gathering Place offers a variety of activities such as art classes, yoga, lectures, and support groups for persons with cancer and their families. One-on-one services include short term counseling, life planning, and medical billing consultations. Telephone support is also available. All services are free.

Through art classes I attended at the Gathering Place, I learned a new way to express the myriad feelings which accompany the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. On bad days I reach for my drawing pad and paint brush. I always feel better when I can face my feelings through drawing.

The Gathering Place West has been there for me since I had the courage to walk through the door and ask for support. My life has improved greatly since that day. I have learned many coping skills, enjoy more self-confidence and am looking forward with less fear to the future. For this I am very grateful.

If you are a cancer patient or family member looking for a welcoming and healing experience, the Gathering Place West offers hope and acceptance to all those whose lives have been touched by cancer. For more information, call 216-595-9546 or visit www.touchedbycancer.org.

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Volume 1, Issue 7, Posted 2:17 PM, 11.08.2009