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Survivorship NOW Closes Its Doors After 6 Years

Dragonheart Vermont’s Board of Directors announces the closure of Survivorship NOW, a wellness center for cancer survivors. Survivorship NOW will continue its free wellness programs until July 31, 2017.  This difficult decision to end the wellness center resulted after careful consideration of Survivorship NOW’s programs, costs, community outreach and how best serve the greatest number of cancer survivors in our community.   We concluded that it is time to move on to new goals.

Although Survivorship NOW will close, Dragonheart Vermont will continue its mission to bridge the gap in support for cancer survivors and to assist the larger community of cancer survivors by continuing to provide resources to already established cancer wellness programs through its Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival. In an effort to continue support to the community, Dragonheart Vermont/Survivorship NOW will make a contribution to local selected cancer support charities.

 

Background Information/Questions and Answers

Can I still take part in Survivorship NOW classes in 2017?

Yes. Survivorship NOW classes will carry on its classes until July 31, 2017. We are committed to continuing to offer the same variety of wellness classes to cancer survivors in our community until July 31. To participate, go to www.surivorshipnowVT.org to view the program calendar and register.

Where should cancer survivors turn after July for support opportunities?

Since Dragonheart Vermont identified this critical need for support for cancer survivors, other organizations have stepped to offer services. We would like to express our appreciation in particular to Dr. Kim Dittus, of the UVM Vermont Cancer Center, for her herculean efforts to create the first oncology rehabilitation program in Vermont.  The program is called Steps to Wellness.

What will the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival raise funds for now?

Dragonheart Vermont is proud to announce that Camp Ta-Kum-Ta will be the pledge partner to the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival in 2017.  Located in South Hero, VT, Camp Ta-Kum-Ta is a year-round camp for children and their families. For over 30 years, Camp Ta-Kum-Ta has provided challenging, extraordinary experiences in a safe and loving environment for children who have or have had cancer. The Festival raised funds to help build the Camp’s Activities Cabin in 2008 and 2009. It is our hope that our Festival fundraising will once again help provide needed support for children with cancer in our Vermont community.

 

How did Survivorship NOW begin?

In 2011, Dragonheart Vermont identified a critical need for ongoing support for cancer survivors in our community after their clinical treatment ends. When no one else would agree to provide these essential cancer rehabilitation programs, Dragonheart Vermont stepped up to meet this need. Survivorship NOW opened the door of its Williston facility in April of 2011. For 6 years, we have offered a wide range of wellness classes to survivors of all cancers and worked to strengthen and empower cancer survivors in our Vermont community to live well after a cancer diagnosis. Dragonheart Vermont feels that our medical community has also stepped up in recent years to help provide important cancer support services. No one is more thrilled to see these efforts develop than Dragonheart Vermont.

How did Survivorship NOW go from a good idea to a wellness center?

Survivorship NOW became a reality because of teamwork. What began with a big need was then met with the financial support of a generous start-up grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont; a bequest by Dragonheart VT member Jane Lande; and charitable contributions by the Vermont Hard Cider Company, all of whom believed in our community efforts. We were aided by donations from friends and family. Most essential, and the reason we have been able to keep our wellness programs free have been the efforts of our fundraisers and donors of the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival. When you add in the diligent efforts of our Dragonheart Vermont members, it is clear we have seen teamwork at its finest! Thanks to you all!

What has Survivorship NOW accomplished in 6 years?

Dragonheart VT helps bridge the gap in support between treatment and recovery with opportunities for cancer survivors to get stronger, fitter, happier, and more connected. Survivorship NOW provides phenomenal opportunities for living well. Dragonheart VT tallies that we offered about 2000 different wellness classes by approximately 40 wellness presenters/instructors and made a difference in the lives of 400+ cancer survivors from 35 towns and 7 counties in Vermont. We have connected scores of cancer survivors. The connections that have been made over the years are strong and will be everlasting.  Best of all, Survivorship NOW offers a fun, welcoming environment to help cancer survivors in our community get physically and mentally stronger, learn new skills, stretch their horizons, and learn how to take better care of themselves for LIFE!

How will the cycle of service continue?

Dragonheart Vermont will carry on this essential mission of cancer survivorship.  It will be carried out in a different way.  We will continued to be dedicated to identifying pressing needs and working to raise funds to address them.  Though Survivorship NOW will be ending, the need for support services has been acknowledged. The connections that have been made over the last 6 years are strong and everlasting. Surviving cancer is a lifelong mission. It takes a community of family, friends, and healthcare professionals to help achieve it. Dragonheart Vermont will be there to lend a hand.

Survivorship NOW chose the butterfly to serve as its symbol of LIFE for our wellness center. It has inspired us with its ability to transform itself throughout its life cycle. Challenges serve to remind us how amazing and yet fragile life can be. They also help us to remember to embrace each and every moment.

 

The butterfly counts not months,
but in moments and has time enough.

—Rabindranath Tagore

 

Because many of the members of Dragonheart Vermont are breast cancer survivors, they know about challenges that cancer brings. At its heart, Survivorship NOW was about cancer survivors helping cancer survivors. Dragonheart Vermont will carry on this essential mission of cancer survivorship. It will just be carried out in a different way. We will be dedicated to identifying pressing needs and work to raise funds to offer support.

 

Area Cancer Support Programs Available to Cancer Survivors

Steps to Wellness and Graduates to Steps to Wellness Program

Oncology rehabilitation program in Burlington, VT that begins upon diagnosis

https://www.uvmhealth.org/medcenter/Pages/Departments-and-Programs/Cancer-Rehabilitation-Program/steps-to-wellness.aspx  

Cancer Exercise Rehab Group

Exercise rehabilitation group for survivors of cancer in St Albans, VT

http://www.northwesternmedicalcenter.org/event/cancer-exercise-rehab-group-15

802-847-9852

Cancer Exercise Group

Exercise rehabilitation group for survivors of cancer in Berlin, VT

Central Vermont Medical Center

http://www.cvmc.org/our-services/cancer-care/cancer-rehabilitation-services

Dragonheart Vermont

Breast cancer survivor and supporter dragon boat organization in Burlington, VT that offers paddling, fitness, fun, and friendships

www.Dragonheartvermont.org; info@dragonheartvermont.org

LiveStrong at the YMCA

Free 12-week program.  Exercise program for cancer survivors at the Winooski, VT,  O’Brien Community Center

http://www.gbymca.org/LIVESTRONG/; LIVESTRONG@gbymca.org

Cancer Patient Support Foundation
Counseling, Nutrition, Emergency Financial Support for cancer survivors 888-277-3707;

The Vermont Cancer Survivor Network

A grassroots not-for-profit organization created by and for cancer survivors with a goal to improve the quality of life for Vermont cancer survivors by providing support, information and education; celebrating cancer survivorship; advocating for cancer survivors and collaborating with related organizations.

800-652-5064;