Dr. Jay Burton, founder of Survivor Journeys that is now offering all its support groups for cancer survivors and caregivers online, spent a year in isolation to protect against infection after a stem cell transplant in October 2010 for acute myeloid leukemia, a type of blood cancer. (Photo by Anne-Gerard Flynn, Special to The Republican)
The monthly cancer and caregiver support groups of Survivor Journeys are meeting virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All of the Survivor Journeys in-person support groups have been converted to online groups,” said Dr. Jay Burton, founder of the nonprofit and a primary care physician who is also a cancer survivor.
“This is the current new normal for cancer survivorship emotional support in our region for the foreseeable future.”
He added Survivor Journeys, which presents an annual all-day educational conference for cancer survivors in June among its offerings for survivors, "has had to cancel Cancer Survivorship 101 this year due to the pandemic, but all of our speakers have agreed to provide their presentations remotely so that we can put them on our website monthly for all to see.”
“We will then archive them on our website as we have done with prior Cancer Survivorship 101 conferences,” Burton said.
“We hope to have the first presentation on the website by June or July.”
Burton said support group attendance through its Zoom platform “has been similar to that of our in-person groups.”
“There has been the most engagement by the breast cancer survivors,” Burton said.
“There has been hesitation by our older cancer survivors to use Zoom, even though there is a telephone call-in feature. We are reaching out to these group members to help transition them.”
Burton noted the Any Cancer Support Group meets Wednesday, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., its regularly scheduled time and any interested participant my join via computer, tablet or phone.
Attendees need to register by emailing email@example.com or by calling (413) 276-6100.
A link to the meeting will be provided following registration.
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