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Cancer support group forms in county

April 2, 2013

County residents who have been touched by cancer now have a local support group to which they can turn.

The Cancer Association of Auglaize County is forming a cancer support group with the mission of being a resource for survivors, those battling the disease and family and relatives of people with cancer to come together.

“I haven’t seen a lot of support groups offered,” said Teresa Bungard, who is the founder of the Cancer Association of Auglaize County. “I just feel like there is a need for open discussion on feelings and sharing ideas.”

The Cancer Support Group will meet once a month, from 6 to 7 p.m. on April 9, May 14 and June 11 at the Wapakoneta branch of the Auglaize County Public District Library.

The meetings will include open discussion, answering questions and informing of local services and programs.

Bungard, who is a retired nurse and a three-time breast cancer survivor, said there are many questions a person may have, and this is a group aimed at answering those questions and informing about the disease and local services.

“I just wanted another source for people,” Bungard said.

The meetings are free and open to the public, and anyone who has questions or wants to learn more about any type of cancer is invited to attend.

“Sometimes a good friend or relative wants to know what’s going on with them,” Bungard said of friends and family members of people with diagnosed with cancer.

This group is aimed at being a support system for people either dealing with cancer or knowing someone with the disease.

“I’m going to let the first few meetings be open discussions,” Bungard said. “I’ll see what they need and what they want to do and see if I need to take it forward.”

Bungard said she used to talk to groups of people, typically church groups, on cancer when the Cancer Association of Auglaize County formed nearly 12 years ago.

The Cancer Association of Auglaize County started in May 2001, and their office is located at 120 S. Front St. in St. Marys and office hours are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from noon to 3 p.m.

The association helps people who are suffering with cancer by providing transportation mileage reimbursement to and from radiation or chemotherapy treatments, or any other cancer related trip, nutritional supplements, wigs, turbans, medication help and miscellaneous cancer-related expenses based on the individual’s need.

Bungard said these services are offered to residents of Auglaize County, and in addition to having support groups, she wants people to know about what the organization has to offer.

“I still get people who don’t know this is available here in the county,” Bungard said.

The Cancer Association of Auglaize County receives funds from United Way of Auglaize County and is funded by donations, volunteers, monetary help and fundraisers.

The organization used to have a support group in St. Marys year ago, but that has dwindled down, and eventually ended, and Bungard wants to start one back up to benefit all residents of Auglaize County.

“We decided we need one again,” Bungard said.

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