Cancer Support Groups & Events

Cancer support groups and events can be invaluable for cancer patients, family, and friends.

Support groups are typically free of charge and facilitated by specially trained social workers, nurses, psychologists and mental health therapists. These groups offer sympathetic shoulders to lean on, as well as information and advice. Events provide an opportunity for patients and loved ones to gather with others, building strength and community. 

  • Cancer Care Support Group for Those Newly Diagnosed with Cancer
    The Living with Cancer Education Group offers education for patients and loved ones. Call the Cancer Resource Center at 515-956-6440 or 866-972-5477 for details.
  • Cancer Care Support Group for Breast and Gynecological Cancer Survivors
    Women survivors of both breast and gynecological cancers may find valuable help through the Women for Women support community. This group meets on the third Tuesday of every month from 6:30-8 p.m. at the William R. Bliss Cancer Center (North Addition of Mary Greeley Medical Center at 1111 Duff. Ave., Ames, IA). Registration is not required.
  • Courage in Motion Cancer Support Group to Encourage Physical Fitness
    Michelle Flattery was 39 years old, a mother of three, and a fitness instructor when she was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The tumor was the size of a softball and had spread to her spleen. After her surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, Flattery decided to create a program with Mary Greeley Medical Center and Ames Racquet & Fitness Center. The 12-program called Courage in Motion is open to cancer patients currently undergoing treatment and for those who have undergone treatment during the last year. Members meet each week for one hour to exercise and share stories. Caregivers are welcome and exercise is not required. Contact Mary Ellen Carano, William R. Bliss Cancer Resource Center, at 515-956-6410, for information, or download a printable registration form with more details.
  • Bereavement Support Group
    During a six-week program, families and friend experiencing loss from cancer or another condition may find help through sharing at the Bereavement Support Group.  It is offered free of charge three times per year at the Israel Family Hospice House. For information or to register, contact Bonnie Riphagen, Bereavement Professional with Mary Greeley Hospice Care, 515-956-6038, riphagen@mgmc.com.

 

Other Cancer Support Events at Mary Greeley Medical Center

Cancer support events change from year to year; here’s a sampling of previous offerings.

  • Retreats: Past events include Couples Celebrating Life Retreat. During this free weekend-long event, couples living with metastatic cancers join for education, meditation, recreation, and refreshment, as well as important discussions of living and dying, hopes and fears.
  • Pink Dragon Boat Racing: This annual summer event gathers breast cancer survivors and supporters to train and race on the Life is Bliss team, which competes at the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash in Fort Dodge. The team builds support, shares strength, and focuses on improving upper body strength, crucial for the recovery process and to prevent lymphedema. To learn more, please visit their website or contact the Cancer Resource Center at Mary Greeley Medical Center at 515-956-6440.
  • Pink Glove Dance:
    William R. Bliss Cancer Center Team

    William R. Bliss Cancer Center
    physicians and staff participating
    in the Pink Glove Dance.

    MedLine, a surgical glove manufacturing company, sponsors the Pink Glove Dance every year at hospitals across the country to showcase facilities and communities.  During the 2013 competition, the Mary Greeley Medical center video, created with William R. Bliss Cancer Center physicians and staff, a cancer patient, community members, the Ames High School cheerleaders, and Iowa State students including members of the Cyclone football team, won third place in the nation-wide Pink Glove Dance Competition, earning $5,000 for the American Cancer Society participating in the Pink Glove Dance. Watch the video.

Learn More

To learn more about meeting times and locations, call the Cancer Resource Center at 515-956-6440 or 866-972-5477.

Request an Appointment

The Cancer Resource Center is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call 515-956-6440 or toll-free at 866-972-5477.

Request an Appointment

Additional Resources

First Nurse

  • First Nurse: Talk to one of our nurses 24 hours a day for free health care advice, resources and referrals! Call 515-239-6877 or 800-524-6877.
  • Health Library: Search our online library containing information on health conditions, medications, medical tests, and more.