Funds contributed by donors like you through Bayshore HealthCare’s matching gift campaign will support the QEII’s ACCESS (Activating Cancer Communities through an Exercise Strategy for Survivors) program, helping cancer patients and survivors stay strong in their recovery.
Our community’s local branch of Bayshore HealthCare is on a mission to help fund a free, specialized exercise program for Atlantic Canadians facing and recovering from cancer.
Angel Griffin, Nova Scotia and PEI’s regional director for Bayshore HealthCare, is leading her team in a current nation-wide fundraising campaign hosted by the Bayshore Foundation.
“Each regional director selects the charity of their choice to fundraise for,” Angel explains. “Gifts are matched by 50 per cent by Bayshore Foundation until August 31. Every Bayshore HealthCare branch in Canada is participating.”
When Angel started in her current role at Bayshore in March 2020, she was eager to choose the QEII Foundation as her charity of choice.
“I reached out to the QEII Foundation because they do lot of great things – especially for our seniors, providing care, and making sure they can get home so we can take care of them.”
Bayshore HealthCare provides home care to many seniors and individuals facing and recovering from cancer, so Angel felt that the QEII’s ACCESS program aligned perfectly with her organization’s commitment to client care.
ACCESS (Activating Cancer Communities through an Exercise Strategy for Survivors) is a free exercise program currently available to current QEII cancer patients and survivors. This donor and grant-funded program is designed to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals confronted with the disease through exercise, which current research shows is a vital, yet often neglected piece of the cancer treatment and care journey.
Terra Thibault, health services manager for Ambulatory Oncology Clinics in the Cancer Centre at the QEII Health Sciences Centre, works with many cancer patients who have or are currently receiving support from ACCESS, and has been an advocate of the program since its inception.
“ACCESS provides a rounded, yet tailored approach to patients – one you wouldn’t get from just a gym,” Terra says. “An entire team of health professionals work to create customized exercise plans not just during cancer treatment, but after, too – which is so important, especially in Atlantic Canada where we currently don’t have enough support for cancer patients after they’ve finished treatment. It’s empowering for patients to be a part of their own care and recovery, from start to finish.”
Nancy Flemming, referral officer from the QEII’s Cancer Centre and one of Terra’s colleagues, also benefitted from the program when she faced her own fight against cancer.
“In 2019, I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” says Nancy. “I’m gene positive, so I was high risk and chose to have a bilateral mastectomy in hopes to be off of work for just six weeks after the surgery. Unfortunately, that didn’t go as planned and I ended up having four cycles of chemotherapy.”
Nancy was referred to the ACCESS program by her oncologist and started attending during her cancer treatment. She’d never been keen on gyms, but was willing to give the program a try. “I’m not the type of person that would ever walk into a regular gym and be comfortable,” she says.
Despite her reservations, Nancy entered the program thinking it would be great – but it ended up being life-changing. “Even though I was battling cancer, I was healthier and stronger going through ACCESS than I ever have been in my life,” Nancy explains.
“The support you get meeting people going through the same thing, building your strength through exercise, and the gentle encouragement from the staff is incredible. It was life-changing for me.”
Nancy continued to build connections and strengthen her body through ACCESS even after her cancer treatment ended, something that many cancer survivors have found extremely helpful about the program.
“A lot of people still have symptoms and side effects after treatment and are facing them on their own,” says Terra. “Programs like ACCESS can bring people together to share their experiences and grow after the trauma of their cancer experience.”
Angel recognizes that programs like ACCESS are important to our community, and is working hard for an extra boost through Bayshore HealthCare’s matching gift campaign.
“I think that anything that we can do to support ACCESS and to make initiatives like this a standard of care is so important,” Terra says. “Our patients deserve this. They need this.”
To support ACCESS through Bayshore HealthCare’s matching gift campaign, click here. Until August 31, 2021, funds contributed by donors like you to BayShore HealthCare’s fundraising campaign will be matched 50 per cent by the Bayshore Foundation.
About Bayshore HealthCare:
Bayshore HealthCare, a Canadian-owned company, is one of the country’s leading providers of home and community health care services. Bayshore is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life, dignity and independence of all Canadians by providing customized care plans and solutions that allow clients to remain in the comfort of their own home.
Bayshore has been a recipient of Canada’s Best Managed Companies award since 2006 and is an Imagine Canada Caring Company, committed to the communities they serve. With over 100 locations across the country, including home care offices, pharmacies and infusion clinics, Bayshore has more than 13,500 staff members and provides care to over 350,000 clients.
ACCESS (Activating Cancer Communities through an Exercise Strategy for Survivors) is a free exercise program currently available to current QEII cancer patients and survivors. The program is designed to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals confronted with the disease through exercise, which current research shows is a vital, yet often neglected piece of the cancer treatment and care journey.
Participants must be over the age of 18 and have a referral from their doctor. Participants receive an individually-tailored exercise plan, which is monitored by a Physiologist and modified during every exercise session based on progress and how the participant feels each day.
To learn more, click here.