This weekend, I had the honor of serving as the emcee for The Gathering Place‘s 20th annual Race for the Place. Like so many non-profits, The Gathering Place had to pivot their strategy for fundraising and their celebration due to COVID-19. But that didn’t make the day any less meaningful.
The Race for the Place is not only a fundraiser for The Gathering Place, it’s also a celebration of National Cancer Survivors Day. During the event, survivors spoke about their cancer journey and the role that The Gathering Place plays in it.
The Gathering Place offers free programs to cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their families. Their programs cover everything from nutrition to art therapy to meditation. There are cancer-specific support groups, age-specific support groups, children’s camps and programming, and more. There are volunteer and leadership opportunities. Programming is now offered virtually, to maintain the safety and health of the community.
What speaks to me about The Gathering Place is it’s focus on caring for the whole person at whatever point they’re at on their cancer journey. From patients to caregivers to family members and from physical health to mental and spiritual health, The Gathering Place offers something for everyone. The Gathering Place recognizes that cancer doesn’t just impact the patient alone and also doesn’t just impact the patient physically.
After my own brush with cancer, I found myself talking to Kris at The Gathering Place about my role in supporting the organization and National Cancer Survivors Day (also our mutual love of anything animal print…I just adore Kris.)
I am so fortunate to have had my cancer found very early and removed completely. My personal experience with diagnosis and treatment was nothing compared to others’. What I learned was that you can own your story, but own it with perspective. I am a cancer survivor, but I have perspective on how lucky I am; how different my experience is from those who face much harder battles with the disease. And I can channel that gratitude and perspective into action by supporting The Gathering Place.
If you want to learn more about The Gathering Place, it’s programs, and how to support the organization financially or with your volunteer time, click here or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.