PRESS RELEASE (11/20/2013)- You’ve just been diagnosed with breast cancer – now what? This diagnosis can be a terrifying moment – a time of isolation, confusion and despair. You feel overwhelmed, even panicked and fearful, and have probably found the clinical “next step” information confusing at best. Most importantly, the decisions that you make now may directly affect the outcome of your care. The Voices of Hope DVD series features a diverse group of women and men who have personally experienced breast cancer and offers help to empower the newly diagnosed with hope, inspiration and important information that can help them navigate the critical first weeks from diagnosis to treatment.
Voices of Hope DVD series is an outreach project of The Hastings Breast Cancer Support Group of Hastings, Minnesota. Its inspiration stems from the recognition that a powerful and often neglected source of breast cancer expertise is the peer group – women and men who have experienced the challenges of this disease firsthand. Inspired by the stories of these brave patient’s, Hastings Breast Cancer Support Group saw an opportunity to spread this wisdom beyond the boundaries of their local support group. In 2010, the original Voices of Hope DVD was created to provide a virtual breast cancer support group that would help other breast cancer patients navigate the early weeks of breast cancer treatment, from diagnosis to first plans of action. Voices of Hope does not offer medical advice in any way. It was designed to offer comfort, support and hope for patients newly diagnosed and the people who love them. In the “Special Feature”, as listed on the DVD menu, ten of the twelve women interviewed display their scares and talk about the type of procedures they experienced. Clinics and cancer care centers find this invaluable when working with new patients. The positive responses to this video have been overwhelming, with thousands of copies now circulating throughout the United States and Canada.
Based on feedback received from patients, medical professionals, and friends and family members of breast cancer patients who viewed Voices of Hope, a second documentary was created, Voices of Hope: Family and Friends. Loved ones of breast cancer patients often have no idea how to help, what to say, and how to calm their own fears. Voices of Hope: Family and Friends focuses on the healing power of relationships and features breast cancer patients and their family and friends who reflect on their journey, creating a positive mindset for each viewer that leads to better medical outcomes and a stronger social network. This well-received DVD focuses on the stories of spouses, partners, children, friends, and others who have supported breast cancer patients throughout their journey. Both newly diagnosed and friends and family members of breast cancer patients have found this new DVD to be a vital source of comfort and education.
Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN) awarded the Hastings Minnesota Breast Cancer Support Group the 2013 CPEN Excellence in Education Award for their Voices of Hope DVD Series on Friday, September 20, 2013 at the International Cancer Education Conference in Seattle, Washington.
The Excellence in Patient Education Award recognizes individuals or programs that use creative approaches to develop and disseminate patient education. The selection committee chose Voices of Hope DVD series program because of the nomination package that described the program’s accomplishments and the emphasis that it places on educating cancer patients and their caregivers.
About the Hastings Breast Cancer Support Group – The Hastings Breast Cancer Support Group is an organization dedicated to offering support in a safe environment where you can question and seek answers, laugh and cry, share your concerns, and grow in knowledge, understanding and compassion. Most of all we do offer HOPE! Your own hope will grow as you meet women of all ages who are newly diagnosed, who are now undergoing treatment, who have lived with their illness for years and even those who are considered cured. We all have one thing in common; we see each day as a precious gift to be lived to the fullest. Providing education and support to the newly diagnosed on a both a local and national basis through our support materials including our two Voices of Hope DVDs is one of our primary missions. As a support group, we offer no magic pill that will take away your personal pain. We do offer understanding; because each of us has made the journey you may now walking.
Twenty to twenty-five members make up this small grassroots organization. The DVDs were created for local outreach but have now surpassed the expectations of the group. The Minnesota Lynx Foundation recently partnered with Voices of Hope to distribute the DVD series to hospitals and clinics in northern Minnesota as well as Hennepin County General in Minneapolis. Thousands of copies have been distributed across the United States and Canada.
To learn more the Voices of Hope Series and the Hastings Breast Cancer Support Group, please visit our website at www.voicesofhopebc.com or contact: