Overview and Background
Cancer Support Community Eastern NC (CSCENC)
We are a 501(c) (3) Federal exempt organization
The Cancer Support Community of Eastern NC (CSCENC) is the only North Carolina affiliate of the Cancer Support Community (CSC), an international organization which resulted from the 2007 merger of The Wellness Community and Gilda’s Club Worldwide.
To ensure people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge,
strengthened by action and sustained by community.
No one should face cancer alone.
Our purpose is to provide psychosocial support services to those living with cancer – our services will be provided to those with cancer and to those who love them. The provision of such services has been found to increase the quality of life among cancer patients and to increase their life spans as well, especially those patients who become seriously distressed by their illness and its ramifications. Notably, the provision of psychosocial support services is an important element in the 2012 standards of care issued by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
Statistics produced by the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry show that for the eight counties which comprise the CSCENC catchment area, the average number of newly diagnosed cancer cases in 2010 was 2,978 per year…and, unfortunately that number is growing.
CSCENC’s licensed catchment area includes Pitt County, NC and its seven adjacent counties, namely Beaufort, Craven, Edgecombe, Greene, Lenoir, Martin, and Wilson. Pitt County is in the geographical center of the catchment area and has the largest population, approximately thirty-percent of the total. Also Greenville is home to the most comprehensive array of medical facilities in eastern N. C., including the Brody School of Medicine. Thus, Greenville is the most suitable location for the CSCENC to offer services, at least initially.
A key piece of our planning is the acquisition of a suitable facility, one which has a warm, homey atmosphere. Efforts are now underway to secure the funds we need.
Our facility will serve many functions. It will be a homey, comfortable and welcoming place where people can attend classes, lectures, visit with others or be alone, do yoga, attend counseling sessions, participate in exercise programs, deal with their distress, develop questions to discuss with their oncologist or medical team, participate in support groups, take a cooking class or learn about the importance of nutrition while undergoing cancer treatment. There will be programs and activities for teens and children. This will be a safe place where people will not be alone as they deal with cancer. The program will serve anyone dealing with cancer including patients, family members, partners, children, teens, and friends.
Our services are provided without charge.
CSCENC will collaborate with other groups who serve cancer patients. Our intent is to develop services not currently available and to refer Members to existing services.
The categories below are representative of the services we will provide; however, until a comprehensive needs assessment is conducted specific programs will not be designated. CSC programs are evidence-based and rests on these five categories:
Support – Some example of Support programs:
individualized distress screening process, assisting members in accessing the Open to Options service, support groups, developing support group for family members, age-appropriate programs for children and teens, and casual, networking groups.
Education – Some examples of Educational activities:
lectures on varied topics such as different types of cancer, their treatment and side effects, cost of care; classes on topics that have special relevance for members such as nutrition, cooking, meditation practices, the role of laughter.
Healthy Life Styles – Some examples might include:
programs that heighten awareness of mind-body relations, exercise and yoga, expressive arts activities and nutrition programs of special value to members
Social opportunities – Might include:
comedy nights, potlucks, family activities, card and board games, art and music
Information and Referrals – Might include:
a resource library and referring members to community resources.
Statistics produced by the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry showed that for the eight-counties which comprise the Cancer Support Community of Eastern North Carolina (CSCENC), the average number of newly diagnosed cancer cases was about 2,978 per year…and unfortunately this number is rising every year.
A nurse, cancer survivor, and retired Army general, Pat Anderson, brought the tinder and spark which ignited our efforts. After her presentation about cancer support programs at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greenville, the congregration set a goal topromote whathas become the CSCENC.
CSCENC, an independent, community-wide organization, is the only North Carolina Affiliate of the Cancer Support Community (CSC). CSC is the foremost international nonprofit that provides support, education, and hope to people dealing with cancer.
We have overcome many hurdles in pursuit of our goal of opening the “red doors” of our first facility here in our eight-county catchment area. We have achieved licensure as a North Carolina non-profit corporation and enjoy the tax-favored status of a 501 (C) (3) corporation. The diverse talents and skills of our thirteen-member Board of Directors assure our steady, organized progress. The prominent oncologist, Mary Raab-McConnell, M.D., who chairs the Professional Advisory Council, provides us with guidance about coordinating our efforts with those in the medical field at large.
Beginning three years ago, we have sponsored an annual lecture series named, Frankly Speaking About Cancer. Open to the public and free of charge, these lectures are given by local health care professionals who are experts in specific relevant areas, as illustrated by such topics as breast reconstruction, lung cancer, costs of cancer care, and new discoveries in cancer care. (A list of Frankly Speaking topics and presenters is available on this website.)
We have developed relationships with local and area programs and organizations providing services to cancer patients, as well as developing relationships with other CSC affiliates across the country so that we stay abreast of their work.
The officers of the organization are: Feryl Masters, President; Lynn Pischke, Vice-President; Claudia Sundman, Secretary; and Lindsey Smith, Treasurer. A list of Board members and Committee Chairs is included on this website.