Posted by Allen Bond on Nov 03, 2017

Friday, Nov 3rd | Cancer Support Community Talk

Rotary November 3rd.
We were pleased to have 2 lovey ladies join us from the Cancer Support Community.  First to tell us a bit more about the organization was Theresa Plakos who has been their PR Director for 8 years.  She pointed out as we are all so aware how in this day and age cancer touches almost everyone and they are a valuable resource for patients and loved ones.  It has been located on the Redondo Beach pier for 30 years and was the 2nd such facility that opened by Dr. Harold Benjamin, with Santa Monica the 1st.  There are currently 45 such facilities locally and 120 worldwide.
Their goal is to ensure all individuals dealing with cancer are empowered, strengthened and sustained.  They offer over 200 free programs for those that have been affected one way or another by cancer.  They use a patient active concept which encompasses partly the fight for recovery and to improve the quality of life.  Some of the services they offered are weekly support groups, educational groups, workshops with guest speakers, mind & body stress programs and individual counseling.  They have also started a kid’s community and are a complete resource for the whole family in dealing with cancer.
They have 2 major fundraisers throughout the year, Celebrity Wellness at the Botanic Gardens and the Girls Night Out Program that is held at the Hermosa Comedy Club.  They also get their fund through grants, individual, corporate and nonprofit grants.
Theresa then introduced Carla Saliba a cancer survivor.  Carla spoke about how her and her husband were experiencing a bit of a change in their lives as empty nesters in 2014.  She was then diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and could hardly believe it and described herself as a deer in the headlights when she heard the news.  She was told by one of the nurses Anna, to the go to the Cancer Support Community that it would make a difference.  There she met livelong friends that continually supported her whether it just be talking about what to expect or telling her that yes she can do this and they would be with her every step o the way.  It was one place she felt completely understood.
She shared her story of that year it was the only Christmas party she attended and felt 100% comfortable with her wild wig on, how she fit in to and enjoyed so much the yoga classes with others experiencing the treatment as well and participated in sound therapy that they offer.  She did beat cancer and credits Cancer Support Community with playing a huge part in saving her life.  She has written a book The Art of Gratitude and does volunteer for a number of organization including Cancer Support Community and the USO.  We are fortunate to have such a great resource right in our own back yard.