Monday, March 14, 2011

Rideau Survivorship Foundation

Many of us in the United States are lucky to have access to medical care close to home. In certain areas of Canada, however, a person who is suffering from a chronic illness oftentimes may have to travel great distances to get the care they need. A dear friend of mine decided to change that in her area, here is her story. If you live nearby her Center, you are in luck! ( The RSF generously donates 5% of their proceeds to the NSBCF and we are doing whatever we can to help them through our website and support forum.)

"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."


Cheryl Gulseth said...

Thank you Dear Friend :o)
YOU were my inspiration and your book sits proudly on our bookshelf. Soon our digital picture frame will be flashing many familiar faces and videos.

Sherry-Lyn aubry said...

I'm very proud to be able to work with Cheryl on this as a volunteer and local small business owner. Several local businesses will be and already are helping the Foundation through donations of all kinds but Vickie opening up her loft to the foundation is leading the pack with generosity. Smiths Falls will benefit greatly from this Foundation and so will each one of us who are blessed with the opportunity to help out. Thank you to both Cheryl and Vickie for working together to bring Cheryl's dream to reality.