Pro­mot­ing can­cer aware­ness

Salmon Cove group kicks off health pro­gram

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

Riverside’s Steps to In­cred­i­ble Health re­ceived $5,000 from the New­found­land and Labrador gov­ern­ment last week to help it kick off an eight-week pro­gram de­signed at can­cer ed­u­ca­tion in the re­gion.

The brain­child of the Riverside United Church board of man­age­ment, the pro­gram aims to im­prove over­all health and can­cer aware­ness in the com­mu­ni­ties of Salmon Cove, Perry’s Cove and Vic­to­ria.

Project leader Don Case, with the help of Trin­ity-Bay de Verde MHA Char­lene John­son and Eastern Health re­gional health ed­u­ca­tor Sherry Kennedy, rolled out the new ini­tia­tive Oct. 16 at an event that saw some 50 community mem­bers come out to the Riverside United Church in Salmon Cove to show their sup­port of the pro­gram.

Case said the pro­gram is open to any­one in the community who wish to at­tend any of the eight ses­sions planned.

“This pro­gram will al­low us to bring about aware­ness so peo­ple can make more in­formed de­ci­sions on their health,” said Case.

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment an­nounced plans re­cently to of­fer grants for community groups to run can­cer aware­ness pro­grams. The prov­ince al­lot­ted some $175,000, to be dis­persed in the form of grants to non-for-profit groups.

The Riverside board filled out an ap­pli­ca­tion, and hav­ing to choose a name for the group, de­cided on Riverside’s Steps to In­cred­i­ble Health.

The pro­gram will be fo­cus­ing on dif­fer­ent as­pects of health each week, with spe­cial guests tak­ing part.

Kennedy, for one, will be putting to­gether an ac­tiv­ity chart for the group to fol­low each week.

An­other guest will in­clude Dr. Christo­pher Paul Patey from Car- bon­ear Gen­eral Hospi­tal, who will be mak­ing a cou­ple of pre­sen­ta­tions in late Novem­ber.

“We are ex­cited to be a part of this very im­por­tant ini­tia­tive,” said Case.

Group’s fo­cus

The main fo­cus for the group is the man­age­ment of one’s health in hopes of staving off the plight of can­cer.

“Can­cer is some­thing that has im­pacted ev­ery sin­gle per­son in this room,” said John­son.

While can­cer and can­cer preven­tion is the No. 1 goal for Riverside’s group, the first goal will be get­ting the peo­ple of Salmon Cove and sur­round­ing area a lit­tle more ac­tive, stated Case.

“Be­ing aware, be­ing in­formed and be­ing up-to-date on the in­for­ma­tion that is avail­able on can­cer,” he said. “If you get can­cer, at least you’ll be able to make a more in­formed de­ci­sion.”

Case said un­der­stand­ing that if you eat the right foods and fol­low the right life­style prac­tices that one can lower the risk of get­ting can­cer.

“Moder­a­tion seems to be key,” he said. “There are lots of things out there that we should be do­ing. Liv­ing happy and healthy lives, that’s the bot­tom line.”

Right now, the group is sched­uled to meet eight times over the next few months, but Case said the plan is to have Riverside’s Steps to In­cred­i­ble Health keep go­ing on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.

John­son, who has had her fam­ily touched by can­cer, said it will be im­por­tant for the gov­ern­ment to pro­mote groups like the one in Salmon Cove in other com­mu­ni­ties around the prov­ince.

“They do so much good,” John­son said of groups like Riverside’s Steps to In­cred­i­ble Health.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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