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Cancer survivors able to connect through new partnership

Last Updated Jul 28, 2020 at 11:17 pm MST

PHOTO. Sorrentino's Compassion House in Edmonton lodges many women from western Canada, including Fort McMurray, while they are in town for their cancer treatment. Supplied by Compassion House Foundation.

Sorrentino’s Compassion House in Edmonton received a grant to aid in its support for cancer survivors.

The facility along with the Compassion House Foundation made significant changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic

RELATED: Compassion House in need of community support

Partnering with Peter Lougheed Leadership College (PLLC), the foundation will develop CompassionConnects thanks to a $25,000 grant from Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF).

Michelle Okere, CEO of Compassion House Foundation said it will help women readjust to life post-treatment.

“We see many of the women we serve struggle with their mental health, left to navigate this journey on their own when they return home. CompassionConnects addresses this gap, empowering participants to pick up the pieces of who they are post-treatment, all from the comfort and safety of their own home.”

Through Sorrentino’s Compassion House, the Foundation provides residential support to over 300 women battling cancer each year.

Since 2002, at least 143 guests from Fort McMurray visited the House.

CompassionConnects

CompassionConnects will link former guests and cancer survivors via technology.

The Foundation said the program supports mental health, reduces isolation, and increases the overall wellness of Houseguests.

CompassionConnects consists of interactive webinars, podcasts, videos, and support groups with partnering medical professionals.

PLLC Scholar Julia Craig, who assisted in developing the program said CompassionConnects can foster a sense of community across distance.

“By using technology, the Foundation can stay in contact and help support women, no matter how far away they live.”

Craig will continue to build a list of existing programs and service from throughout the province.

“Like so many other charities, Compassion House Foundation was faced with both addressing emerging needs, mental health in particular,” Said Craig Stumpf-Allen, Director of Grants at ECF. “Changing how they provide services. ECF is proud to be able to help the charitable sector respond to COVID-19, with the support of the federal Emergency Community Support Fund.”

CompassionConnects will launch later this year.