My experience with “Writing for the Health of it”

September 25, 2020
  • September 25, 2020
  • Member Stories
“We write for ourselves, not for others. We write to heal, not to entertain anyone.”

Writing makes me happy; it has taught me to be grateful at all times. When something is stressing me, I get a piece of paper and a pen write it down and often by the time I finish, I feel less stressed. I don’t know where I would be without Writing for the Health It, it has become my family. Being in a foreign country with no family is difficult on its own but having to go through cancer has been very challenging.

As a newcomer, I felt like the world had collapsed on me, I had no family and barely knew anyone as I had not even spent a year in Edmonton by the time of diagnosis. I came alone to Edmonton from Uganda in August 2017. In March 2019 I was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma). I was going through anxiety, depression and stress when my oncologist advised me to look for social groups to keep my mind occupied. She handed me a few brochures and one of them was from Wellspring Edmonton.

I then visited Wellspring and was given a friendly guided tour and introduced to several activities and programs that take place there. That’s when I decided to register for the writing group. Leaving aside the social part, I thought this group was going to help me write my story and eventually turn it into a book since that was my dream. However, the goal and purpose of Writing for the Health of It was different and unique:  We write for ourselves, not for others. We write to heal, not to entertain anyone. We write to express our challenges and we support each other. We “write for the health of it”!

In Writing for the Health of It, Patricia Richardson, a wonderful Edmonton writer and expert in children’s books, and co-facilitator Connie Moores guide participants through an enjoyable writing experience exploring new pathways in life after a cancer diagnosis. No writing experience necessary! This is meant to be a fulfilled and non-threatening experience.

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