Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among Canadian women, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Action Kingston, a volunteer-based organization founded in 1993, is dedicated to the education, support and empowerment of those affected by breast cancer throughout the Southeastern Ontario Cancer Region.
Breast Cancer Action Kingston (BCAK) offers resources, education and support for individuals and families who have been affected by this common disease. The organization, when possible, also promotes and provides funds for research into the cause, control, and cure of breast cancer
In the Kingston area, BCAK is known, though not as widely as the organization would like it to be, according to Linda Yohn, board member at BCAK.
“I’d like Breast Cancer Action Kingston to be a household name at some point,” shared Yohn. “You know, we have this fabulous little organization. It’s local, all the money that is raised stays local. We fund all our programs through donations and fundraising. We want to be a go-to place for persons affected by breast cancer.”
Wendy Barrette, also a board member for BCAK, speaks of breast cancer as a journey, stating “It’s a horrible journey, but it is a journey and it’s shared by all of our members. They’ve all been through a similar thing. We just want people to know that they are not alone.”
“We would, one day, like to be in a position where, if I go to my doctor tomorrow and am told ‘you have a lump; you have breast cancer’, my doctor will tell me that there is a place I can go and get information, get support, and find out what the next step is,” Barrette continued, saying that BCAK has this support already in place.
BCAK is looking for input from those who are on, or who have survived this journey. Their current objective is to expand services throughout the southeastern Ontario cancer region, providing support where it is needed most. Right now, they offer support groups and fitness classes in the Kingston area, but plan to grow throughout the region, and can also connect virtually with others. The organization has a very large service area extending from Cardinal in the East, Brighton in the west, north to Maynooth and south to Picton. Both Yohn and Barrette stated that it’s vitally important to reach out and let those with breast cancer in the region know that they are not alone.
“We’re just not reaching those people [across southeastern Ontario] and this is what we want to do!” Yohn explained. “We want to let them know that we’re here and what we offer, and that we want to know who you are, where you are, and what BCAK can do for you.”
This article is sponsored by Breast Cancer Action Kingston. Interested in a Business Feature on Kingstonist? Contact [email protected]