The day before Ginger Shoji had her breast cancer surgery, she was at work feeling scared.
A friend visited and asked how she was doing.
“I know what they are going to do to me but I need to talk to somebody who has gone through it,” Shoji recalled saying. “And she said ‘I have a friend who has gone through it.’”
Later that afternoon, Shoji talked to a breast cancer survivor for hours.
That human contact helped her so much that she decided to get together with other cancer survivors in town and start a support group.
That was in 2004.
The following year the group learned one of their members had to declare bankruptcy while going through cancer treatment.
Another said they wouldn’t be going for cancer treatment out of Revelstoke as they didn’t have a car and couldn’t afford to otherwise.
With these stories in mind, Shoji and the cancer support group started providing funds to people to help them access cancer treatments.
However, the group said funds are currently dwindling and since the group is not an official society they do not qualify for many grants.
But there are still people in Revelstoke who need help.
Shoji said those undergoing cancer treatment must exhaust all other avenues before approaching the group for funds.
For example, the Canadian Cancer Society can offer assistance to some people.
However, for those who fall through the cracks, the Revelstoke Cancer Support Group is there.
This year they received funds from the Revelstoke Credit Union’s Community Giving initiative and Soji hopes to host a fundraiser with the money, however, she needs help.
Shoji is hoping to be adopted by an organization in town, so the group can better accept donations.
She also wants assistance planning a fundraiser in hopes of both raising funds to distribute to those in need as well as to raise awareness of the group and attract more participants.
“I needed to talk to somebody that was going through it,” she said. “Somebody that would relate to me on a human level.”
She wants this for others as well.
To get in touch with Shoji to help or find out more information email email@example.com.