Promoting cancer awareness
Salmon Cove group kicks off health program
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.
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.