Local Nonprofit is Celebrating 10 Years of Free Cancer Support for the Community (VIDEO)

Hope Connections for Cancer Support, a nonprofit in Bethesda, is celebrating 10 years of free services for cancer patients and their caregivers.

“More than anything else, Hope Connections is a community of support,” Paula Rothenburg, president, Hope Connections for Cancer Support said.

After she losing her dad to cancer and facing the lack of resources for patients like him and caregivers like her mom, is what prompted Rothenburg to help others walking in her shoes.

“Losing my dad was obviously traumatic but what really hit me was there was nothing there for my mom both during and after the fact,” she said.

With the help of other like-minded people, Hope Connections for Cancer Support was officially launched in 2007 with a common belief that no one should suffer with cancer alone.

Hope Connections offers support groups, educational workshops, and mind and body classes for both patients and their care givers free of charge.

“When you’re a full time caregiver as I was, it is very stressful,” Carole Kopit, outreach coordinator for Hope Connections said.

Kopit, who lost her husband to cancer, said Hope Connections gave her family an outlet they didn’t know they needed.

“The need arises immediately as a caregiver and you recognize that need as you’re going along,” Kopit said.

“It gave me so much hope since my treatment,” said Pancreatic Cancer Survivor Yohannes Ebreysus.  “After the doctors did their treatment and surgery and radiation, you need healing and this is the best place to get healing.”

10 years later and staff at Hope Connections had no idea the impact they would have on families.

“It was a huge risk that we undertook and in out first year we had over 1,200 visits to our facility,” Rothenburg said.  “So far we’ve had over 75,000 people, over the last 10 years.”

Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at MHicks@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter @mittimegan.

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