A cancer support group hosted by University Chaplain Randy Heckert will be starting on campus on Tuesday, Oct. 4. The support group will enable those who have experienced cancer in their lives to share their stories in addition to providing information to those interested in learning more.
“[Heckert] expressed interest in starting a group for people on campus that have cancer,” Shannon Wilkes, senior social work major, said. “I said I had been thinking for awhile about starting a group for people who have had it or haven’t had it directly, but have a family member or friend with it.”
The support group will be open to any faculty, staff or students who would like to attend and it will be held at Heckert’s house.
“We will get together to swap stories, experiences and feelings,” Heckert said.
Anyone who is interested in learning more about what others are going through are also welcome to come, Heckert said.
Wilkes mentioned that she hopes to have times to pray with attendees as well as times of discussion.
It is also open to those who have had experiences of cancer in the past in any form.
“Sometimes people still have questions lingering after the fact,” Heckert said.
The group started the end of last semester right before finals week. Even though there were only three attendees, Heckert says he has been able to contact eight to 10 people this year who have interest in the group.
“I had started thinking about it my sophomore year and never did anything about it because I never had a way to do it,” Wilkes said.
Wilkes said that talking to Heckert recently gave her the opportunity to work out the logistics of getting it started.
Wilkes and Heckert were able to share their desire to do it and they found others with the desire as well.
Wilkes said it will be a place of support.