BCAKposter

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Published on December 13, 2007

Author: Charlo

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Breast Cancer Action Kingston – An Innovative Advocacy and Support Group Antoinette MacDonald, Elizabeth Staples, Dianne Johnston http://www.brcanactionkingston.com:  Breast Cancer Action Kingston – An Innovative Advocacy and Support Group Antoinette MacDonald, Elizabeth Staples, Dianne Johnston http://www.brcanactionkingston.com Programs Resource Centre Financial Resources Research Breast Cancer Resources Brochure Exercise Classes Financial Assistance Survivor Facilitated Support Group One-on-One Support Chestmates Dragon Boat Team Annual Four Day Healing Retreat Hands On Quarterly Newsletter Post-Operative Puffy Pillow Project Resource Centre The centre is open 12-4 Tuesday and Thursday and 1-4 Wednesday and Friday. Off hours calls are answered promptly by volunteer phone coverage. There is an extensive library of books, videos, CD’s and tapes and includes information about all aspects of breast cancer and the environment as it pertains to breast cancer, nutrition, exercise, prevention and alternative therapies. Following a Rural Breast Health Initiative, co-sponsored by the Ontario Breast Cancer Information Exchange Program in 2001, a project was undertaken to place ten of the most popular books on breast cancer in each of the 27 branches on the local Public Library (Frontenac, Lennox and Addington). Both community projects have been funded by grants from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Board members also participate in teaching sessions at local schools and community groups. Survivor Facilitated Support Group Women at all stages of breast cancer are welcome – from pre-surgery through treatment to several years beyond diagnosis. The group is led by two of four trained facilitators, themselves breast cancer survivors. Meeting every two weeks in the BCAK offices, confidentiality is insured as group members share their experiences and offer caring to each other. Annual Four Day Healing Retreat The retreat is held every year in heritage log buildings nestled in a cedar grove along a beautiful river. A diagnosis of breast cancer can shatter bodies, psyches and souls. At this annual retreat, women at any phase of breast cancer gather to offer and receive the support and strength they need in order to renew themselves. Through mediation, guided imagery and writing and telling their stories, women learn more about themselves and offer their knowledge to one another. The time spent together is one of information, creative energy and hope that awakens them to the tremendous opportunities to change, grow and heal One-on-One Support For women who prefer a one-on-one discussion, it is possible to get support and understanding through discussion with a BCAK facilitator either in the confidential environment of the BCAK offices, in the woman’s home or on the phone. Efforts are made to meet in person. Financial Assistance Financial assistance is provided to breast cancer survivors (upon application) for medically related expenses for prosthesis, bras, wigs, dental work, prescription medication, transportation and extra-ordinary living expenses. Quarterly Newsletter With a mailing list of over 1800 in Canada and the United States and distribution to key locations in the Kingston area, our newsletter coincides with announcing and reporting on major events in BCAK’s calendar. The contents include news of the current state of breast cancer research and treatment, book reviews, information on other breast cancer organizations and tributes to members who have died. A concerted effort is made to include cancer researchers, results of pertinent clinical trials and information on health care workers and other individuals and organizations working in relevant fields. Copies are distributed in public venues and health care institutions and posted on BCAK’s web site. Breast Cancer Resources Brochure Distributed through the Southeastern Ontario Cancer Centre, local hospitals and physicians offices, this brochure includes information on how to obtain support, prostheses and specialties, learning resources, wigs and turbans, swimwear, nightwear and lymphedema garments and financial assistance in BCAK’s catchment area. Exercise Classes BCAK recognizes the importance of exercise in the prevention of lymphedema. Low impact aerobics, strength training with an emphasis on upper body, yoga and meditation classes are offered five times a week at the resource centre under the direction of a Certified Fitness Instructor. Dragon Boat Team Survivor dragon boating has become an international movement which champions the benefits of physical fitness, provides a “floating support group” and showcases the cause of breast cancer awareness at dragon boat festivals in places as diverse as New Zealand, South Africa, Rome and Shanghai. BCAK provided the forum and support for 27 strong and spirited local women to form Dragon Boat Team. A team of breast cancer survivors, they paddle to slay the “evil” dragon of breast cancer and to enrich their lives through creative fire of the “good” dragon. Through its Exercise And Dragon Boat Programs BCAK encourages women to include physical fitness as an integral part of their recovery from breast cancer. paddling together in an invigorating, exhilarating and life-affirming sport Most breast cancers are detected by women themselves and early detection is the key to successful treatment. The most important part of breast self-examination is becoming familiar with the normal findings (the look and feel) of a women’s own breasts. The Hands On project was developed in 1996 with two main purposes: To create a greater awareness of the need for women to do breast self-examination (BSE) regularly and correctly To provide an effective weapon in the early detection of breast cancer To achieve these goals physicians, nurse practitioners, health centres and women’s outreach clinics are provided with a Hands On kit, free of charge. Each kit, in its own carrying case, contains a breast model with simulated lumps, 20 descriptive booklets (A Guide to Breast Health Care) and an instructional videotape. This teaching material is available n both English and French. They are then used in single or group settings to teach the correct technique to perform BSE. BCAK also offers free teaching sessions either at the resource centre or in the community. Post-operative Puffy Pillow Project To every woman who has had breast cancer surgery, a pink bag is delivered to her when leaving the hospital. It contains an attractive “boudoir” pillow to use under her arm or hold for comfort, a small pouch in which to hold her drain and an introduction to Breast Cancer Action Kingston, it’s programs and resources. It is our way of letting her know that BCAK is available for her on many levels, whatever her need. Financial Resources The annual budget for BCAK is over $100,000. These funds are raised entirely in the community through an Annual Walk for Awareness (including head shaving) for pledges, charity golf tournaments, 3rd party special events, In Memoriam gifts and donations and annual memberships of $20 per person. The only paid staff are the Office and Resource Coordinator who works part-time and the Certified Fitness Instructors. Research A key focus of BCAK is a commitment to research and advocacy directed towards prevention, early detection and treatment of breast cancer. One third of the proceeds from the Walk for Awareness is dedicated to research on breast cancer. We have supported the work of local researchers [e.g. the purchase of a PCR Cycler, epidemiological trials: “Risk of breast cancer associated with oral contraceptives and PCB’s according to HER-2/neu status”, “Daughters Without Breast Cancer Research Project ‘Spit for Science’” ] and given significant grants to local hospitals. Introduction Breast Cancer Action Kingston (BCAK) is a survivor-led, independent, incorporated, non-profit charitable organization. It has a Board of Directors of twelve, elected by the general membership. The Board meet monthly to update on programs, resolve issues, discuss research proposals and correspondence received, follow an agenda and keep minutes. BCAK hosts an educational evening in April and an educational component to their Annual General Meeting in October. Guest speakers present timely information on a variety of breast cancer related topics. BCAK’s major fund raising endeavor is the Annual Walk For Awareness in May. Objectives: To promote and provide funds for research into the cause, control and cure of breast cancer To raise awareness of the benefit of early detection of breast cancer through breast self-examination and screening To undertake public education: Develop programs to educate, counsel and support women living with breast cancer, their families and the community at large. Walk for Awareness BCAK’s major funding raising event takes place the first Saturday in May. This event is well supported by the community with head-shaving, music and clowns

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