"My name is Cheryl Gulseth and I created The Rideau Survivorship Foundation. Being a 5 year survivor of breast cancer I know how hard it is to get through this journey. Travelling to the major centres for treatment is overwhelming to say the least. I myself have to pass up valuable support services that are available in Ottawa simply because I don't have the time to make additional trips into the city now that I am back to work. Together with my directors Angie Stoddard and Barbara Ann Cregan, we are here to make sure that everyone in our community has access to the support they need right here at home. The journey doesn’t end when treatment does. The centre will be there for survivors and their families as long as there is a need.
One of the huge challenges identified is finding post-treatment care. There are a lot of rehabilitation programs available but when it comes to cancer it is almost non-existant in our community.We (Rideau Survivorship Foundation) are hoping to bring much needed support services to people living with cancer and other chronic illnesses into the heart of the Rideau. Our aim is to have a centre to offer support to cancer patients and caregivers after diagnosis and particularly after treatment.
The Centre is located in the loft above Vickie's Specialty Shop
14 Main Street West in Smiths Falls
Through fundraising activities we are happy to say that we will be able to open our resource centre on March 12th. It will be located upstairs at 14 Main Street West. Grant acquisitions will enable us to add to our centre and services in order to assist the people in need of support services. We want these people to get what they need locally and not have to travel all the way to Ottawa, Kingston, Carleton Place, Kemptville or Brockville. Chronic illnesses such as cancer can be overwhelming enough without having to travel long distances to obtain support. Patients from this area that are receiving treatment in Ottawa or Kingston (for example) could be referred here so that they can receive any additional support that they need right here in their own community.
The Rideau Survivorship Foundation is opening its doors right here in Smiths Falls and offer the following services to the people of this community….
•Library available to do research as well as online access to link with support forums, groups and information
•Look Good Feel Good Program sessions arranged on demand
•Registered massage therapist nearby the centre specializing in lymphatic drainage for post surgery issues
•Meeting room for information sessions and group meetings
•Exercise classes will be scheduled as required
•Assistance in finding financial support
•Wig boutique across the street with private courteous service
•Mastectomy products, swimwear and clothing in house
•Peer support, by survivor for survivor (by appointment if outside of centre hours)
The centre will be a one-stop location to help people travel along the road that they never wanted to take. Knowledge is power and where there is knowledge there is hope. Early screening is key in prevention, and self-advocacy is key in successful treatment and recovery. With early detection, and armed with good information we WILL one day find the cure."