Before Carol Crowe even met her oncologist she visited a Wellspring centre and signed up for the Healing Journey Program.
“It’s a struggle just hearing the words ‘you have cancer’ and I knew I was going to need help. I needed that support right from the get-go, just to help me cope with the diagnosis,” she says.
Diagnosed with breast cancer, Carol relies on the resources and programs provided by Wellspring to help her while undergoing treatment. Carol is a strong believer in the need for supportive care for those living with cancer.
“You can go to an oncologist or a surgeon and they can tell you what they’re going to do to try and make the cancer go away, but the feelings associated with that is a whole other battle,” she says. “So it was important to me to have those supports so I can be as strong as I could be emotionally and mentally to prepare for the physical battle.”
Carol has found great comfort and support in the Breast Cancer support group at Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House. “It was great to be around other women who were going through the same thing,” she says. “Some of the women in my group had already finished treatment, so they helped me prepare for what to expect.”
Not only does Carol find emotional support in Wellspring programs, she has also found practical solutions to help deal with the side effects of cancer and its treatment.
“Thanks to the programs at Wellspring I feel like I’ve got toolbox to help me throughout my cancer journey,” she says. “When I wake up at 2 a.m., I think of the strategies I’ve learned in Healing Journey that help me identify the stressors that are keeping me awake. I have the tools I need to calm my mind and get back to sleep.”
A deputy police chief at the Halton Regional Police service, Carol has served her community for over 25 years. So when her colleagues on the police force learned of her illness, they wanted to know how they could help.
“They knew they wanted to host a barbeque fundraiser, and asked where I’d like to direct the donations. I told them I’d like the funds to go to Wellspring,” Carol says. “It’s not just for people with breast cancer, it’s for men women and children and their families dealing with all types of cancer.”
The barbecue fundraiser was a success, raising just over $9,000 for Wellspring while spreading word about the organization. “A lot of people at work weren’t aware of Wellspring, so I’m just happy that we were able to bring some awareness to the organization and the amazing services it provides.”
Carol’s efforts to help the organization that has meant so much to her didn’t stop there. As part of the Oakville chapter of 100 Women Who Care, she passionately lobbied on Wellspring’s behalf and won a $10,000 donation for Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House.
“I really feel that this is my purpose right now: to do what I can to raise awareness and funds for Wellspring,” Carol says. “I think it’s a wonderful organization and I want to do what I can to help. That’s kind of what’s keeping me going.”