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The Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC

For Patients & Families
Coping & Support

Support Groups & Educational Resources

The Leukemia/BMT social workers can help you find appropriate support groups and educational resources in a variety of formats including print, internet, online and in person support groups in the Greater Vancouver and Island Areas as well as other parts of British Columbia.

Below is a list of agencies, societies and associations that provide support and educational programs. Click on any link below to view the details.

This is not an exhaustive list. Please speak to your BMT Social Worker to obtain a complete list of cancer support services in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

For more resources, go to Other Resources on this web site for printable education materials, a list of books as well as web links to clinical trials, disease/treatment information and other cancer-related web sites.

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Peer-to-Peer Support

We realize that although our staff members are highly specialized and committed to quality patient care, the best person to talk to about how you are feeling can often be another patient or their family member, as they have a personal understanding of the situation.

Leukemia/BMT patients, families and caregivers can arrange to talk to a volunteer who has had similar cancer experience. Volunteers are former patients or family members who have gone through similar treatment. Currently, two societies offer peer-to-peer support programs. If you would like to be connected with a peer, speak with your BMT social worker, visit the web sites below for more information or contact the programs directly at the numbers provided.

  1. CancerConnection program offered by the Canadian Cancer Society, BC/Yukon Chapter. This program puts you in touch with a volunteer who has as much in common with you as possible, including the type of cancer you are experiencing, the course of treatment and lifestyle similarities. Click here to visit their web site or call 604-215-5212 or toll-free 1-888-939-3333.
  2. First Connection program offered by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, Western Canada Chapter. First Connection is a peer mentor support program that connects people who are newly-diagnosed or facing a new treatment with someone who has faced a similar situation. Click here to visit their web site or call 604-733-2873 or toll-free 1-866-547-5433.

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BC Cancer Agency Programs

The BC Cancer Agency offers a number of support groups in Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and Kelowna. The support groups are offered in their respective communities. Groups include:

  • Lymphoma Support Group
  • Chinese Cancer Support
  • Mindfulness & Stress Reduction/Relaxation
  • Therapeutic Touch
  • Look Good...Feel Better® sessions. Visit the Look Good...Feel Better® web site www.lgfb.ca to learn what these sessions are about.
  • Lesbian/Bisexual Support
  • The Children's Club offers art and music therapy for children whose parent or relative has cancer.

For more information, visit BC Cancer Agency web site or speak with your BMT social worker.

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Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) of Canada Programs, Western Canada Chapter

In addition to the First Connection peer-to-peer support program mentioned above, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada offers many other support and educational resources. The Western Canada Chapter is located in Vancouver, BC.

Click here to visit the Western Canada Chapter web site. You can also contact them toll-free 1-866-547-5433 or 604-733-2873.

All LLS of Canada patient services programs are provided free of charge, including:

  • Comprehensive printed materials regarding the various blood cancers, their treatments and related topics such as effects of cancer treatment, fertility, clinical trials, fatigue, pain management and nutrition
  • In-person education programs
  • Telephone education sessions. Past sessions are archived on their web site (Leukemia-Lymphoma Society of Canada)
  • One-to-one consultation and assistance to find information and support services within their organization or the larger community
  • Family Support Groups. These are in-person or telephone support groups to share information and support with others affected by blood cancer
  • Connection to other people with blood cancer and their families through online chat groups or online support groups
  • The Information Resource Centre. Located in New York, this is a phone service program that provide patients with the latest information about blood cancers and their treatments. Staff at the Information Resource Centre are multi-lingual and can access a translator service of over 140 languages. Call this service toll-free at 1-800-955-4572.

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Canadian Cancer Society Programs
British Columbia & Yukon Chapter

In addition to the CancerConnection peer support program mentioned above, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) also offer groups such as:

  • Living with Cancer
  • Peer Support Groups for the Chinese Community
  • Look Good...Feel Better® sessions. Visit the Look Good...Feel Better® web site www.lgfb.ca to learn what these sessions are about.
  • Energy Healing/Therapeutic Touch
  • Relaxation/Stress Reduction sessions

Many of these programs take place regularly at the Jean C. Barber Cancer Lodge in Vancouver. Call the Jean C. Barber Cancer Lodge in Vancouver directly at 604-879-9131 or drop by and see them at 575 West 10th Avenue.

If you do not live in Vancouver, visit the Lodge in your area. Lodge locations can be found on the Canadian Cancer Society web site or call 1-888-939-3333.

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Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) Support

The CML Society of Canada is based in Quebec. Click here to visit their web site You can also contact them toll-free 1 866 912 7575 or email them at info@cmlsociety.org

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Multiple Myeloma (MM) Support

  • Myeloma Vancouver offers both a support group and mentor program for patients with multiple myeloma. For more information, visit www.myelomavancouver.ca, phone 604-468-0184 or speak with your BMT social worker.
  • Vancouver Island Multiple Myeloma Support Group is based in Victoria. The group was formed to offer awareness, education, and assistance to all those touched by myeloma, sharing information, concerns, and successes. For more information, visit www.myelomavancouverisland.ca or phone:

    Lillian Barton: 250-743-2693
    Donna Dickinson: 250-818-8426
    Gwen MacKay: 250-656-3503
    Toll free 1-855-742-8888 after  June 15 2011

    Nanaimo
    Theresa McNutt: 250-751-2656

    Campbell River
    Linda Latham: 250-923-4055 or email lindalathamcr@gmail.com

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Callanish Healing Retreats Society

The Callanish Society is a Vancouver-based small grassroots non-profit organisation "dedicated to improving the emotional and spiritual health of our communities by assisting families with cancer, and their health care providers, to explore illness and/or death openly and consciously."

The organisation offers week-long retreats and on-going support programs such as Strength Within, Creativity & Healing and Meditation. Visit their web site www.callanish.org. Email them at info@callanish.org or phone 604-732-0633.

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InspireHealth Integrated Cancer Care Centre

Located in Vancouver, InspireHealth is Canada's foremost integrated cancer care centre. They focus on guiding patients to integrate research-informed natural approaches to health into their cancer treatment and recovery.

Visit their web site www.inspirehealth.ca. Email them at info@inspirehealth.ca or phone 604-734-7125.

InspireHealth islocated at #200-1330 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6H 4A6

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Young Adults (age 18-39) with Cancer Support

  • The Callanish Society in Vancouver offers week-long retreats and ongoing support programs such as Strength Within, Creativity & Healing and Meditation. Visit their web site www.callanish.org. Email them at info@callanish.org or phone 604-732-0633.
  • Young Adult Cancer Canada. Formerly known as RealTime Cancer, this is an internet community for young adults to "connect, share their sh*t and support one another". Visit their web site www.youngadultcancer.ca. Email them at connect@youngadultcancer.ca or phone toll-free 1-877-571-7325.
  • Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults offers information that specifically addresses the unique needs young adults dealing with cancer. Visit their web site www.ulmanfund.org.
  • Young Cancer Spouses is a web site that strives to bring together other young cancer spouses to share ideas, lend support and validate their feelings and emotions so they can find comfort in an understanding community. Visit their web site www.youngcancerspouses.com.
  • Planet Cancer is a fantastic and humorous online support group for young adults that deal with issues that patients are often too embarrassed to ask or talk about. Their mottos include: "Just Puke It" and "Cancer, there are easier ways to build character." Visit their web site www.planetcancer.com.
  • Group Loop is an online support network geared specifically for teens. It is a "safe place for teens with cancer and their parents to build an online community to find support, education and hope while dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Visit their web site www.grouploop.org.

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