5 Caring Groups Supporting Cancer Patients & Their Families

A cancer diagnosis is difficult to bear, with complications often arising from medical bills, physical limitations, and stress that affects the diagnosed as well as their family and friends. Luckily, many organizations exist to support cancer patients and their communities through special programs, funds, education, and general research about the disease. This list, in no particular order, highlights some of them.

The #1 entry on our list is SHARE, a national nonprofit that works to support, educate, and empower women affected by breast, ovarian, uterine, or metastatic breast cancer, with a particular focus on medically underserved communities.

The organization's mission is to connect these women to survivors and peers, thereby creating a community where no one has to face their cancer alone. SHARE's ambassador program is composed of a group of people trained to educate underserved Latino, African-American, and Caribbean communities about these diseases.

For #2, we have the Be Loud Sophie Foundation. This organization's mission is to support adolescent and young adult cancer patients and their families at UNC Hospitals. It believes that cancer patients in this age group have unique needs and aims to treat them as the emerging adults they are.

Be Loud works to help UNC build a research-based program that advances the national understanding of how best to meet the unique needs of patients in this diverse age group. It hosts events throughout the year, such as concerts and fitness activities, to raise funds and boost awareness of adolescent and young adult cancers.

Coming in at #3 is Pseudomyxoma Survivor, a patient and caregiver-run organization offering advice on managing symptoms and all aspects of living with this rare disease. The group is based in Warwick, England, and hosts a number of events, such as conferences and fundraisers, throughout the year.

The charity's online community has a Pseudomyxoma Buddies system that aims to supplement the support already given by one's family, friends, and doctors. Buddies have been diagnosed with PMP and offer up their own experience and friendship to make others feel less alone.

Next up, at #4, we present Wellspring Calgary, which aims to offer a range of support, resources, and programs for those diagnosed with cancer throughout southern Alberta, Canada. It has two main centers and several satellite outlets throughout the region, and offers various services online for those who cannot access its centers.

Among Wellspring's many programs are movement and meditation classes; participants can enjoy physical and mental activities with the goal of increasing strength, building resilience, managing stress, and calming the mind. It also offers art classes where the afflicted can express themselves through writing, music, and more.

To close out our list at #5, we have the Cam Neely Foundation. This nonprofit was launched in 1995 by Boston Bruins President and alumnus Cam Neely after he lost his parents to cancer. He created the foundation with the goal of helping cancer patients and their families during treatment.

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the organization is composed of two parts: the Neely Cancer Fund and the Neely House. The fund supports treatment and research efforts while the house provides a place to reside, relax, and talk to others while undergoing treatment.