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News: Centegra Sage Cancer Center celebrates cancer survivors

McHENRY – On June 7, Centegra Sage Cancer Center celebrated the approximately 12 million cancer survivors in the United States with refreshments and raffle items for patients and families who visited that day.

The simplicity of the event reflects the spirit of the Centegra Sage Cancer Center: Cancer Survivor’s Day is not an event to be celebrated once a year but something to recognize and celebrate on a daily basis, for everyone who walks through the front door.

The National Cancer Institute recognizes a survivor as anyone from diagnosis to end of life. Therefore, the experience created at the Centegra Sage Cancer Center helps all who enter feel comfortable. From the smiling face of a volunteer the moment you walk in, to the calming music and resource library, Centegra Sage Cancer Center provides a complete continuum of care.

Complete continuum of care in the neighborhood
The continuum of care is one of many distinguishing characteristics at the Centegra Sage Cancer Center, with high tech machinery, high touch support and a highly trained team of oncology professionals dedicated to the success of everyone.

Marianna Wolfmeyer, oncology counselor, chaplain and grief support specialist at the cancer center, is involved with people from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.

“Many people have treatment for five to six weeks, five days a week,”  Wolfmeyer said. “Over that period of time, they feel the support of the Cancer Center community that tries to meet various needs they may have as they receive treatment.” 

For Wolfmeyer, the opportunity to be with patients, families and community members is the best part of her job.

“I get to connect with people in sacred and rich times of life and empower individuals to manage their experience,”  she said.

Wolfmeyer’s kind and compassionate caring represents just one part of the services offered at Centegra Sage Cancer Center and she knows that success is dependent on the contributions of every highly trained member of the multi-disciplinary cancer care team.   It is the dedication and willingness to bring individual talents to serve patients that makes the Center a unique place for treatment.

“We understand the challenge of the cancer experience,”  Wolfmeyer said. “We are here to help in any way we can.” 

The effect of the Sage Cancer Center on the patients it serves is obvious. Kathy Ehorn, a cancer patient, has received chemotherapy since December and loves everything about the center; she even referred her mother who was recently diagnosed.

“The emotional support is the most beneficial for me,”  she said. “They are just so personal – everyone knows my name.” 

The Centegra Sage Cancer Center is convenient because it services all areas of treatment under one roof. Patients do not have to travel to multiple locations to receive treatment and support. In addition, it is conveniently located on the Centegra Hospital – McHenry campus, so many people do not have to travel far from home to get the treatment they need.

Free services provided
As a non-for-profit organization, Centegra Sage Cancer Center is committed to giving back to the community in any way they can. This attitude of service helps promote community health and wellness through many programs and services for all members of the community, whether they are affected by cancer or not.

The services offered to the community provide support, care and comfort and promotes the community atmosphere many find so motivational. The ongoing and free support groups are open to anyone affected by cancer or their survivors, and include: Cancer Transitions, Care for the Caregiver, Hats Off, Living with Grief, Look Good” ¦Feel Better and Network of Strength. Not all groups are cancer specific and are completely free to the community.

For those that feel the financial burden of a cancer diagnosis, there are financial consultants who offer free services to help families organize their financial situation before and after cancer treatment.

To learn more about the Centegra Sage Cancer Center, the different services and support groups offered, call (815) 344-8000, or visit cancer.

Partnership with the American Cancer Society
The Centegra Sage Cancer Center has created partnerships with the American Cancer Society.

For years, their partnership has provided the “ËœLook Good” ¦Feel Better’ program to women affected by cancer, to learn how to cope with skin changes and hair loss. These free, monthly sessions empower women to feel and look their best, despite the changes they are enduring.

On June 17 and 18, the American Cancer Society brought a volunteer stylist to conduct the first free Wig Boutique at Centegra Sage Cancer Center. This service provides free, brand new wigs and scarves to women who have been diagnosed with cancer. Valerie Durachta, Patient Services Representative with American Cancer Society, knows the importance of this service for women.

“The women are often surprised and happy to know they don’t have to worry about losing their hair,”  Durachta said.

Kathy Ehorn, a patient at Centegra Sage Cancer Center and recent wig recipient, is conscientious of the financial burden of cancer.

“Cancer is expensive,”  she said. “Wigs are even more outrageous, so this service is a way to make me feel normal again without any additional financial burden.” 

Scheduling an appointment for a free wig is simple and convenient. When patients call to set up an appointment, the American Cancer Society comes to the site to provide a fitting. They offer several different wig options to choose from, and help to style it. Centegra Sage Cancer Center had nine patients receive new wigs and Durachta said she is looking forward to future appointments at the Sage Cancer Center. To learn more about the Wig Boutique, or schedule an appointment call (800) 782-7716.