Seeing each other in person for the first time in nearly 15 months, dozens of fully vaccinated volunteers, friends and staff of Pasadena’s Cancer Support Community (CSC) gathered Thursday for a get-together and field membership party.
“We normally do this in January,” explained volunteer and donor Dana Naples, alluding to the effects of the extended pandemic.
“This means a lot to me personally,” she continued, as her husband, a longtime board member, is currently recovering from cancer. Her mother in law also succumbed to pancreatic cancer many years ago, she said.
“That’s how we became familiar with this CSC community. We’ve been spending a lot of time here, with functions and the like, just to raise money for the cause”
“I personally have seen the effects on these patients for what CSC does,” she added.
CSC, first founded in 1990, provides a range of therapies to cancer patients and their families, from mental health support groups to exercise classes, mind/body classes, educational workshops, creative expression programs, as well as children’s services and information and referral services.
The group gathered at the La Cañada-Flintridge home of volunteer and donor Rita Gooch, who said that her mother, among other family members, was a breast cancer survivor.
“I love bringing people together and making people happy,” she said, “and this is a way for me to do this. I love hosting people at my home.”
The highlight of the gathering was a brief talk from cancer survivor Pamela Sevir, who worked as a business support manager for IBM until she retired in 2016. She told her story of being diagnosed in 2010, and imparted this sage advice to the gathered audience: “Don’t ignore anything. See your doctor.”
Following her first diagnosis and treatment then, she said she was recently given a more serious diagnosis in January of this year, and has begun a new round of treatments. But she has taken full advantage of the CSC’s offerings, diving headlong in the painting workshops, for example.
‘The painting has been especially helpful,” said Sevir, “because you need to focus and it really helps take your mind off things, as does the meditation. It helps distract you from what’s happening in the background and in the foreground and helps you focus on the present.”
Dana Naples and Sandy Koveissi served as co-chairs of the Thursday membership event.
“Ladies Night Out” event co-chairs Vicki Mulligan and Marlene Evans also announced that the group’s annual event honoring courageous women in the cancer battle, will be held Thursday, October 7 at 6: 30 p.m.