Reach to Recovery Program Helps Breast Cancer Patients with Survivors - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Poplar Bluff, MO

Reach to Recovery Program Helps Breast Cancer Patients with Survivors

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Genevieve Bergman-Barks Genevieve Bergman-Barks
Kathy Hoon Kathy Hoon

Reach to Recovery Program Helps Breast Cancer Patients with Survivors
By: Christy Hendricks

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. - Emotional support is a very important part in the fight against cancer and there's a growing effort in the Heartland to provide those newly diagnosed with breast cancer with the support they need to overcome.

"[The doctor] called me and told me he had got the report back and that it wasn't good. So I started crying. I cried for four hours," said Genevieve Bergman-Barks of Piedmont.

When Genevieve was diagnosed with breast cancer in June, she didn't know what to do.

"When you hear somebody say the word cancer to you, it really is a scary word to hear," she said.

Having breast cancer can be scary and unpredictable.  That's why programs like reach to recovery help connect those with cancer to those who have fought the same fight.

"I was diagnosed in 2002. I was 37. I didn't know where to turn, no one to talk to and I didn't actually know about this program," said Kathy Hoon of Poplar Bluff.

Now, Kathy Hoon is cancer free and a Reach to Recovery volunteer.  She calls, visits, and sends information to those recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Genevieve says hearing Kathy's story helped her.

"It was just a big boost to me to my morale and everything to have her come and tell me and you could ask her questions," Genevieve said.

Hearing from someone who's been through the same thing is different than learning about the cancer from a doctor.

"He was just kind of blunt and to the point and maybe that's what they should be I don't know, but it's a lot different than having somebody like Kathy, you know that can come in after him and really tell you what it's all about," Genevieve said.

"Not only has it helped them, but it has me because I've learned a little bit something more or I feel like I've done what I'm supposed to do as a survivor."

Kathy's looking for breast cancer survivors who would like to be a Reach to Recovery volunteer.  You have to be a survivor for one year.

For more information call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.

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