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.
  • Courage in Motion is designed to be a pathway to hope and health for people who are currently undergoing cancer treatment or have gone through treatment in the past year. The patient’s caregiver is also eligible. There is no charge for this program, which is co-sponsored by the William R. Bliss Cancer Center Cancer Resource Center and Ames Racquet and Fitness Club (AFRC). The program begins with a 6-week course of exercise at Mary Greeley Medical Center. Participants can then choose to continue with a 12-week program at AFRC. Contact the Cancer Resource Center, at 515-956-6440, 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 Mike Willer, Bereavement Coordinator with Mary Greeley Hospice Care, 515-956-6038,

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.

Request an Appointment

Talk to a Nurse

Call our 24/7 First Nurse phone line to speak with a medical professional and get advice right away.