Wellness Community 2007 – 2010

TWC’s mission is to provide a professional program of education, emotional support, and hope to enhance the health and well being of people affected by cancer. At TWC, all programs are free of charge to people with cancer and their loved ones. TWC offers more than 70 free programs and activities each month, including newcomer’s groups; Family Circle Groups; cancer networking groups; workshops; nutrition and stress-reduction classes; and social events to build community.

Education in decision making among treatment options, alternative therapies, relaxation techniques and a mind-body approach, combined with strong social support systems, gives people the power to choose what works bet and the strength to apply those solutions to their cancer battle. The elimination of cost as a hurdle in receiving psychosocial support is an empowering catalyst for “taking back control of one’s life” – a profound component of cancer recovery. TWC is the oldest and most highly respected psychosocial support organization in the U.S. and its programs are considered the “gold standard” by countless national health- and research-based agencies.

TWC has recently, in response to a request from Phoenix Children’s Hospital, launched the first year-round teen cancer support group. We received $100,000 from the Thunderbirds and two other donors; hired a teen counselor; launched a Teen Advisory Group of teens with cancer to define the programs; and are now launching our outreach program. Teens with cancer are thrust into a different world with the diagnosis. TWC is seeking to address the reality of the illness for young people aged 13-25. Building bridges and understanding between teens with cancer and those without the disease is one of our goals.”

JLP could assist with the Teen Halloween Party. This is important because statistics are emerging that show the incidence of teens with cancer is greater than that of the younger pediatric population. A number of reasons are suggested for this shift. Teens are less likely to want to draw attention to their bodies and often fail to report symptoms early to parents, thus delaying diagnosis and treatment. This is referred to as The Teen Gap in Cancer Care. Significantly, cure rates are down for people aged 15-24, while cures are up in younger children. The Teen Halloween Party is directed at these new findings. Creating greater awareness of teen cancer by building a young people’s group comprised of those with and those without teen cancer, AND creating fun events where they can be together, will, we believe, begin to raise awareness of teen cancer in a non-threatening way. It also provides an environment that caters to teens going through treatment where they can be who they are and still enjoy them selves.

TWC is located in a historic home just blocks south of the Junior League headquarters. The purpose of TWC is to provide information and resources to cancer patients and their families in a quiet and comfortable setting. Many people stop into TWC between doctor appointments, radiation or chemo treatments. Additionally, TWC offers support groups for cancer patients, families and caregivers, as well as monthly classes in everything from Tai Chi to card making.

TWC was approached by a group of teens who felt too old for the support groups offered through the pediatric cancer programs at various local hospitals. Yet, they also felt they didn’t fit into the traditional adult activities and support groups; they needed the social dynamics of typical teen life. Together with TWC, these teens have begun their own unique program.

The JLP component of this program worked with TWC to plan, coordinate and deliver a new series of events that focus on outreach and experiences to teens that are impacted directly by cancer. A minimum of two and a maximum of four events are to be planned in conjunction with the teens.

The financial component of this program is $4000 annually with a three-year commitment.