The good news is cancer patients are surviving longer and longer. The sobering news is that there are so many of us touched by this disease. In Vermont alone, there are about 3,500 people who will be diagnosed with cancer this year; there are about 29,000 adult cancer survivors living in Vermont today. There is often an unfortunate gap in services between patients’ clinical cancer treatments and the on-going recovery and wellness programs they need to remain healthy over their lifetimes. Physical, social, and psychological changes occur and these changes need to be addressed to enhance the quality of life for cancer survivors. Until cancer is no more, the prevalence of cancer survivors in our community will continue to grow.
Cancer survivors must have a way to address their wellness needs throughout their recovery. While there are programs throughout the community that provide services to the general public, meeting the needs of cancer survivors requires specialized focus and treatment. Dragonheart hopes to mobilize our area resources and offer wellness opportunities for area cancer survivors through Survivorship NOW.
“There is such a strange Catch-22 at the end of the breast cancer journey: the joy of being finished with months of treatment coupled with the fear of being suddenly launched out alone, without the security of the medical safety net. It can be a scary transition time, full of unknowns. Had I known that, at the end of my treatment, I would be welcomed with open arms into a health network of compassionate survivors and caring professionals, it would have made all the difference. Survivorship NOW can be the bridge from cancer to life.”
—Paige Russell, 8-year breast cancer survivor
Our Survivorship NOW program is based on six tenets as seen in the section of the butterfly’s wings. Each tenet is more fully described and accessed from the links on the right.