In 1997, Janet Bowman was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer. She was given a 1% survival rate and told she had six months to one year to live. When Janet heard this, she went home and cried. Then she realized she had a choice. She could sit and wait for the cancer cells to destroy her body or she could fight. Janet chose to fight a courageous battle against this terrible disease.
During this time, Janet had tremendous support from her husband, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and even strangers. During her weekly chemotherapy sessions, she quickly realized that many others were battling cancer without the support she had.
Did Janet's life change during these six years! You bet it did. Janet was determined to beat the 1% odds she was given. She was even more determined to help others.
In 1998, a close friend for over 25 years, Judy Snyder, was diagnosed with breast cancer. On the last day of her chemotherapy, Judy felt there should have been some kind of a celebration for what she had just been through.
Based on their feelings and experiences, Janet and Judy began to think of ways they could help other cancer patients in Centre County.
In 2000, Let's Talk , now called the Cancer Support Group, was created to provide monthly encouragement meetings for survivors with all types of cancer.
The main project of CSA is the Tote Bag of Hope given out to new cancer survivors. These bags include a blanket to keep warm in cold treatment rooms and an organizer to help the patient navigate the confusing new world they are entering. The popular bags are currently being distributed through local medical center offices and by request, with over 100 received in the first year.
As time passed, it became clear to Janet and Judy that other programs needed to be developed.
A variety of programs are available to all Centre County residents who are battling cancer. Visit the programs page to learn about the variety of programs offered by the Cancer Survivors' Association, including:
Tote Bags of Hope
Celebration of Hope
Cancer Support Group monthly meetings
Volunteer Opportunities Financial Contributions
The Cancer Survivors' Association believes family, friends and neighbors are also affected when a person is diagnosed with cancer. All of our programs are designed to include the survivors' extended family.
After years of cancer treatments, remissions and relapses Janet passed away December 17, 2003. Judy followed her on April 5, 2007. (Link to obituary in CDT) Both women leave behind this organization that continues to help newly diagnosed and ongoing cancer survivors.
Because of Janet and Judy's continued efforts toward their vision of having a community join together to build social and emotional support for everyone in Centre County as they battle this terrible disease, the Cancer Survivors' Association is a vital part of your community. Please review our programs and contact us if we can help.
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