Have you heard of SHARE?

*Today's post is a guest post from the great folks at SHARESHARE is a wonderful non-profit organization that provides support to survivors of breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer and ovarian cancer. If you are, or someone you know is, a survivor who wants to connect with other survivors, please check out SHARE. I sincerely admire the work that they do for our community.
~Nic *

What SHARE Does and How They Help the Breast Cancer Community

In 1976, Dr. Eugene Thiessen, a doctor specializing in breast cancer, had the idea that breast cancer survivors could lend support to one another. He arranged the first meeting, and 12 women came to that first support group. In 1978, the group incorporated as a nonprofit organization. It was then led by a small dedicated staff and several dedicated volunteers.

Over time, the group expanded its outreach and developed new programs, with its impact reaching thousands of women and men. With the introduction of hotlines and educational programs also came advocacy for legislation and funding to fight breast cancer.

The Mission of SHARE

The mission of SHARE is to create and sustain a positive, supportive network and community of women who are affected by breast and ovarian cancers. Participants, community members and survivors come together to exchange support, information, strength and hope. The ultimate goal of SHARE is to provide empowerment, advocacy and education about an improved quality of life, better health care, and advocate for funding for a cure for these diseases.

Who is SHARE?

SHARE is comprised of breast and ovarian cancer survivors who know what it’s like to have early stage, recurrent, and metastatic disease. Telephone support, support groups, educational programs, and advocacy activities are all available. Phone support is available in English, Spanish, and in 10 other languages as well. LatinaSHARE was started in the late 1980s for those more comfortable with the Spanish language.

In 1995, SHARE began offering services for women coping with ovarian cancer, in addition to breast cancer. Recently, SHARE has been expanding services for women with metastatic breast cancer, all in an effort to make help attainable for those who can benefit from others’ help and shared experiences. Help, support and information is also provided for caregivers with information on what caregivers can do to help, things every caregiver should know, and similar helpful pieces of knowledge.

How Does SHARE Help the Breast Cancer Community?

All Services provided by SHARE are free of charge. When someone calls for telephone support, SHARE will help the caller face the emotional and practical issues that come with these cancers, such as handling treatment side effects, dealing with insurance companies, talking to friends and family members, feeling weaker as chemotherapy progresses, and more.

SHARE can help callers consider their options and give advice about talking with their doctors, and can also provide information on other services that might help, such as educational programs and support groups. It’s important to remember that SHARE is made up of breast and ovarian cancer survivors. The hotlines are staffed by survivors and caregivers who have been through coping with these cancers, and can answer your questions, sort through your options, and help you make the best informed decisions. Callers can be connected with peers whose situations are similar to theirs, or – sometimes what is needed most is someone to just listen, and that is what the staff will do. SHARE is committed to providing exactly what is needed, exactly when it’s needed.

SHARE is a BBB accredited charity, a member of Community Health Charities, and a 2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit. To learn more about SHARE, get support, get involved or to donate to SHARE, please visit SHAREcancersupport.org.

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