Diane Davies understands what a person, their family and their care-givers go through when initially diagnosed with breast cancer. Shes been there herself. Davies was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, and although shes a survivor she recalls the fearful emotions that come with that initial diagnosis.
Now, as the project coordinator for the Voices of Hope DVD series produced through the Hastings Breast Cancer Support Group, shes helping facilitate the hope and support Minnesotans who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer need.
On Saturday at Target Center, Voices of Hope was honored on Target Centers main court during the Lynxs regular season opener against Connecticut and received a grant from the Lynx Foundation for their efforts in the community. Davies and co-leader Claire Mathews accepted a $5,000 check from Lynx team president Chris Wright to help aid in their mission.
It actually gives me goose bumps just thinking about it, Davies said. As a survivor myself, the idea of having this peer support right at the time of diagnosis was something I really longed for. To supply that for other women and other patients, it fulfills the passion I have for it to this day.
The first Voices of Hope DVD entered into circulation for breast cancer patients in 2010. Its goal was to provide stability, guidance and support during a tumultuous time in the patients and their families lives. The DVD talks with 12 women breast cancer patients who have already been through their journey toward recovery and can give practical, educational and caring advice about how to handle the stages of diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
Met with initial success, Davies said it became clear that families and care-givers were also in need of a video that could help them through this difficult time. So Voices of Hope created a second DVD with the same breast cancer patients and those who went through their recovery journey with them.
Today, there are about 6,000 DVDs out in circulation. With the help of the Lynxs organization, that number will be raised to 11,000 DVDs.
She said she initially spoke with the Lynx Foundation about 6-7 months ago and talked about the organizations DVD series. After going through the grant application process, the team selected Voices of Hope as recipient of several grants allocated during the 2013 season.
The goal, Davies said, is to help get these DVDs into the hands of people in Northwestern and North Central Minnesota to help them through their journey.
The Lynx are practically doubling our distribution, Davies said. Hats off to the Lynx for helping us do that.
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