Friends Indeed

Cancer Support Community-Redondo Beach has your back.

  • Category
    People
  • Written by
    Darren Elms

 

My children had a very hard time with my diagnosis,” shares Torrance’s Annette Bade after she learned she has breast cancer. “A mother is usually the center of a family and the glue that holds the family unit together. When mom is sick, she can’t always make the favorite meal and cut up the food in just the right way, tuck the kids in at night with that special bedtime story and prayer, and be the fun mommy she used to be. She also can’t make the child’s fear go away. She has to concentrate on getting better.”

Annette found Cancer Support Community-Redondo Beach (CSC-RB) while networking with other women battling cancer. For 26 years, CSC-RB has provided free programs and services to cancer patients and their loved ones in the South Bay and surrounding areas. 

Annette took advantage of classes and events through CSC, such as the group therapy, one-on-one individual therapy, yoga classes (including laughter yoga), Zumba classes, writing classes, meditation classes and special events such as Girls Night Out at the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach. She also checked out books from the CSC library and met many new friends through the program.

About a year ago, CSC-RB introduced the Kids Community, a creative expression program designed for children ages 5 to 13 with a parent, grandparent or family member with cancer. In the program, children participate in activities where they can speak about their fears and anxieties. 

"The experience provides the children with the comfort of knowing that they are not alone. As one little boy exclaimed to his mother after first attending the program, ‘Wow, his mommy has cancer too!’”

“Participating together gives them a great sense of relief to be with other children who also have a family member with cancer,” says executive director and CEO Judith Opdahl. “The experience provides the children with the comfort of knowing that they are not alone. As one little boy exclaimed to his mother after first attending the program, ‘Wow, his mommy has cancer too!’ One child actually felt he caused his mommy’s cancer!”

In 2014, CSC-RB 2014 hopes to implement more programs in local elementary schools. They recently piloted a successful program at Lincoln Elementary in Torrance, where a group of eight to 10 kids meet weekly during the lunch hour with therapists and talk about their experiences living with a cancer patient. “We are presently working on funding to provide our program to four more schools in the South Bay,” adds Judith.

In addition, Terranea Resort will welcome the CSC-RB on October 26 for the Fido & Friends Walk to support cancer patients and their families. Guests are asked to walk in honor of a person or dog affected by cancer. Says outreach manager Theresa Plakos, “Carry their name on a sign, if you wish, or just in your heart.”

“These days, I take a friend’s children to the events,” says Annette. “My friend passed in April of this year from breast cancer. She left behind a husband and three little ones. I am hoping that her children will receive the same kind of outlet and healing that my children have received.”

For more on Cancer Support Community-RB, visit cancersupportredondobeach.org.  

 

JUMPSTARTERS

CSC-RB’s Judith Opdahl and survivor Annette Bade watch Annette’s daughter, Sara, play with Mattie.
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