Jeanne Grothaus, Executive Director of Central Ohio Diabetes Association, has been touched by cancer.
“My daughter was 3 years old and my son 7 when my husband was diagnosed with cancer in 1988,” she recalls. “He was at the gym working out one day…and the next, we were told he had six weeks to live.”
Jeanne is turning her family’s experience with cancer into something positive at Cancer Support Community Central Ohio by making an initial gift to help fund KidSupport™, a program for Central Ohio children ages 4 through 12 who have been impacted by cancer.
“It was so hard for our children to see their father go from being healthy and well to being so sick,” she recalls. “What was even harder for the children was the three years of watching Daddy–and Mommy–struggle with the disease, and of course, coping with his death in 1991.”
During this time, Jeanne was proactive in making sure her children had the emotional support they desperately needed. John and Jeanne’s daughter Leslie and her brother attended groups for children who were affected by cancer. Leslie, who is now an adult, spoke with us about her memories of attending the groups as a small child.
“One of the biggest lessons I learned was that what was happening to my dad was not my fault,” says Leslie. “I learned sometimes bad things happen, and we don’t always know why.”
“Every time I have gone to Cancer Support Community, everybody makes you feel very welcome—just very friendly. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere. It’s just encouraging and uplifting. It’s a great resource.”
—Barbara Pfeiffer, Caregiver
“Thanks to Cancer Support Community, I was able to speak to the people who had actually been through the treatments and were able to tell me exactly what it would be like. ‘Support’ fits the title of the organization because you truly are supported. The people are so nice; the people are so caring and giving, just supportive! Everyone just seems to have a love and affection for each other and give you great words of encouragement and just let you know that you are going to make it and everything is going to be okay. You do feel better once you arrive and come to the events. It’s the one place where I felt comfortable enough to share my own story.”
—Erica Neal, Frankly Speaking About Cancer® participant
“I feel more relaxed with the cancer diagnosis and the treatment that I have gone through because there are the other people that I see every day who I know are going through a similar journey, and it’s comforting for me to know that I am not alone. All you have to do is just go up and be at the Cancer Support Community. There are always programs that can help, whether it’s physical help or emotional help or even just coming to a program like the cooking class where you can learn to help yourself.”
—Bryan Loveless, Survivor and Executive Wellness Chef
“When you join the group, all of a sudden wonderful people are surrounding you who really care, and they really understand. A lot of times, having cancer is hard to share with other people, and it is hard for even family to understand. I think that when you have cancer, you want that kind of support team. [Cancer Support Community’s] resources are great because they have people that investigate nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and all the other four or five components which are almost as important in some ways as the three basic ones: chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. It’s just a wonderful group run by wonderful, dedicated people that really care. It is really something undefinable.”
—John Reiner, Survivor
...So that no one faces cancer alone
Explore the complete Cancer Support Community Central Ohio calendar here