Our Solutions

Our Solutions

Addressing the unique needs of cancer

At Wellspring, we provide a caring community in-person and online, so anyone living with cancer, their caregiver and family members can access vital information, meaningful support and effective coping strategies. 

We are an essential partner in the cancer care community.

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Mission & Vision

Wellspring Cancer Support operates through a network of charitable organizations. Each Wellspring offers similar programming and services, tailored to the unique needs of the community it serves.

Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation was founded in 1992 and has the following Mission, Vision and Values. These are consistent with those of our network.

Our Mission

Wellspring helps people living with cancer elevate their quality of life and strengthen mind and body through innovative cancer support programs.

Our Vision

Helping people live better with cancer.

Our Values

At Wellspring, we value community, compassion, empowerment and respect.

Our Goals

  1. Maintain excellence in all Wellspring centres
  2. Develop innovative programs and continuously improve those in existence
  3. Serve as many cancer patients and their loved ones as possible with regard to Canada’s diversity
  4. Secure a sustainable funding base
  5. Achieve and maintain organizational health

Our Commitment to Diversity

Wellspring welcomes and is accepting of all individuals diagnosed with cancer and those who care for them. We are committed to an authentic approach to continuous improvement with the ultimate goal of all individuals feeling safe and understood within Wellspring programs and centres.

The Right Program to Meet Your Needs

Wellspring runs evidence-based programs that reduce pain and other side effects while helping people find the financial and community resources they need. Wellspring is Canada’s leader in evidence-based cancer support programs, which are provided free of charge and have been shown to*:  

Ease debilitating physical symptoms
Reduce emotional distress for patients, their children and other family members
Improve access to income replacement programs
Help people return to work when they are ready
Improve quality of life
Help some people live longer than medically predicted
Lower the chances cancer will return

Programs

We provide over 50 evidence-informed programs and services that address the non-medical needs of cancer patients, their caregivers and families. These programs fall into six main areas:

Our Approach

Wellspring provides a community of support for those living with cancer, driven by the needs of our members?

Volunteer Supported

Volunteers are the heart of Wellspring. We have hundreds of volunteers that support all areas of the organization, providing: 

  • Operational support 
  • Peer support 
  • Program support 
  • Support with fundraising events 
  • Governance through our Board and Committees 
  • Support as ambassadors 
  • Their professional expertise in service of our mission

50+ Evidence Informed Programs

Wellspring offers more than 50 diverse and evidence-informed programs and services, delivered by paid professionals. Programs fall within six areas, and are available 5-6 days per week. 

Our programs and services are driven by our members’ needs.

Free & Without Referral

Wellspring seeks to breakdown potential barriers by ensuring all of our programs and services are available free of charge and without referral.  

While we don’t require medical referrals, the number one way new members hear about us is through health care professionals.

We are 100% donor funded. 

Wellspring is here for you

Getting started with Wellspring is simple.

* Evidence of program effectiveness:

“There is now, in fact, scientific evidence of the benefits of providing psychosocial cancer care to patients and families … in fostering a better quality of life during and after treatment, and eventually increased survival.” Dr. Barry Bultz et al. PsychoOncology. 2014; 23 (9), US National Library of Medicine

“…exercise leads to a lower risk of recurrence and a higher likelihood of survival for three common types of cancer — breast, prostate and colon cancer.” Kerry Courneya, Co-author of the American Cancer Society’s Updated Health Guidelines for Cancer Survivors and University of Alberta Researcher (ualberta.ca/folio/2022/03)

“Exercise significantly reduced the risk of mortality in patients with cancer and in cancer survivors,” Morishita et.al., Effect of Exercise on Mortality and Recurrence in Patients With Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, National Library of Medicine (2020).

View Our Impact webpage for additional evidence.

Specific Programs:

Healing Journey: “Some evidence has been found, in prospective, longitudinal studies, that when people with metastatic cancers become strongly involved with psychological and spiritual self-healing work, this may significantly prolong their lives. Qualitative analysis of interviews with people whose lifespan has exceeded expert predictions by many years, has led to a simple theory of the beneficial effects of mental change on progression of cancer.” Cunningham, A.J., Edmonds, C.V.I., Phillips, C., Soots, K.I., Hedley, D. and Lockwood, G.A . (2000) A prospective, longitudinal study of the relationship of psychological work to duration of survival in patients with metastatic cancer. Psycho-oncology, 9:323-339.

Research undertaken by multiple sources, including the American Cancer Society, now indicates that at least 80% of all cancer patients suffer from cancer-related fatigue, which can be debilitating. Wellspring piloted the Cancer-Related Fatigue program in 2020. There were 75 participants in the 4-week pilot from across the Greater Toronto Area. Post-test data showed that 86% of participants were able to manage their cancer-related fatigue better as a result of the program.

The Breathing Wellness program underwent an evaluation between August 2022 and January 2023. 94% of respondents were breathing more easily after taking the program. 100% of respondents were better able to control their breathing as a result of the program. Participants found the specific breathing techniques (leaning forward, recovery breathing, rescue breathing, exercises to build muscle around lungs, etc.) to be helpful, with between 80% and 100% (depending on the specific technique) agreeing that the technique helped them with their breathing.

Effects of the community-based Wellspring Cancer Exercise Program on functional and psychosocial outcomes in cancer survivors, D. Santa Mina et. al. Current Oncology, 2017 Oct; 24(5): 284–294. “From baseline to the end of the initial phase, significant improvements in cancer-related fatigue, 6-minute walk test, social well-being, systolic blood pressure, balance, and physical activity volume were observed. During the transition phase, health-related quality of life and emotional well-being improved significantly.”

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