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The Compassionate Grief Centre at 55 Drury Cove Road in Saint John. Image: Submitted/Compassionate Grief Centre website

Charity Launches Free Cancer Support Programs

By Brad Perry Oct 26, 2022 | 11:30 AM

A New Brunswick charity has launched a series of new support programs for cancer patients and their families.

The Compassionate Grief Centre in Saint John is offering no-cost private counselling and support groups.

Sandy Maxwell, chief governance officer, said they want to improve the quality of life for people living with a cancer diagnosis.

“It’s very stressful to be diagnosed with cancer. It’s probably one of the worst things you could ever hear. Not only is it stressful and causes anxiety for the patient but also for the family,” Maxwell said in a phone interview.

“We have great medical care at our hospitals for treatments and working toward a cure, but who in the community helps people with the stress and the anxiety? We thought we should be doing something like that.”

The centre pointed to Statistics Canada figures which show New Brunswick has the second-highest cancer rate per 100,000 people in Canada.

“Cancer rates increase substantially with age and currently 37% of New Brunswick are age 55 or older which is a contributing factor,” said a news release from the centre.

While the centre is based in Saint John, the programs are being offered virtually, meaning anyone in New Brunswick can sign up.

The first support group, geared toward people living with cancer, begins next week. Registration for the seven-week program is open until Friday.

Maxwell said they hope to launch another support group for caregivers after the Christmas holidays.

“There’s a tremendous amount of value in peer support, by people who are going through similar journeys,” she said, noting the groups will be facilitated by one of their professional counsellors.

New Brunswickers who want to donate to the Compassionate Grief Centre can do so by sending an e-transfer to giving@compassionategriefcentre.ca or through the centre’s website by clicking here.


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