Wellspring Calgary expresses our deep appreciation for your confidence in our ability to deliver on our promise that, in light of a global pandemic, no one has to face cancer alone.
Cancer is non-discriminatory, with vulnerability presenting in many ways (financial, physical, emotional, etc.). Wellspring supports women and men, their caregivers and families living with cancer at any point during their cancer journey (diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, recurrence, end of life). Cancer does not take a break and now, more than ever, our members are not only dealing with cancer as a life-threatening illness but are now facing an additional life-threatening illness that adds to their feelings of emotional distress, fear, and isolation to name a few.
Given our members (adults impacted by cancer, their caregivers and their children) fall within significant high-risk persons, Wellspring Calgary immediately commenced alternative service delivery. To illustrate our efforts, the day after we were directed to suspend onsite programs and activities at our two Calgary centres, we proactively reached out to our members with:
• One-to-one telephone resources for: Money Matters (assistance with income replacement programs, employer disability programs, drug coverage); Peer Support (trained volunteers who provide confidential support and practical strategies); Transitions Support Coach (who is there to help during times of transition, loss of hope, suffering and more).
• On-line programs (presently 20 and growing) including: our flagship programs, such as Healing Journey, Brain Fog, Meditation and Yoga
• We are also offering some newly created programs intended to address issues associated with the pandemic such as: how to stock your pantry, budgeting and recipes
• Critical COVID-19 information can be found on our website, along with some good news and kindness stories.
• We also have a blog where our members can virtually meet to converse and share their stories (https://wellspringcalgarym2m.wordpress.com/).
Research reveals that cancer patients typically experience high levels of distress and other practical issues that together impede health. Neglecting this fear, anxiety and the practical issues that contribute to distress in cancer patients exacerbates illness and increases healthcare costs.
30 – 70% of cancer patients have significant needs beyond medical care such as addressing fatigue, managing emotional distress, dealing with financial challenges, building wellness and strength through nutrition and exercise, returning to work, and more. This is where Wellspring fits in. Caregivers also need support to play the vital role they play in assisting a patient outside of the healthcare system.In the absence of the supports that Wellspring provides, research indicates that cancer patients are:
• five times more likely to use community health services
• twice as likely to visit emergency departments
• more likely to receive expensive third and fourth line chemotherapy
The emotional and practical support that Wellspring offers to Albertans facing cancer saves healthcare resources. We are aware that this is needed today, more than ever.