City councillor forms cancer support group

It’s going on two years since Rebecca Lennox was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Aside from dealing with the ensuing physical and emotional distress, the Courtenay councillor has also faced mounting medical expenses.

So she agreed to reach out to the community for a helping hand.

Last December, her friends and family put out a call for support via GoFundMe. Overnight, numerous businesses and individuals — some of them strangers — had contributed $10,000.

“You wake up in the morning and you see that. There’s no other option but to cry. It’s just so moving,” she said. “It’s been an interesting time of life to be navigating something so profoundly personal and private while being a public figure. It was hard for me to come forward. It felt very humbling to have to ask for help. But the support that the community showed me has been staggering.”

A benefit dance/auction raised another $9,000 that has helped alleviate some of her medical debt.

“When I was diagnosed with cancer, it just turns your whole world upside down,” Lennox said. “It’s liberating. I had to look at myself. What caused this disease? I was 32 when I was diagnosed.”

The support of family and friends has inspired her to form a monthly support group for young adults living with cancer. The idea is to provide a comfortable place to chat candidly, and to share ideas. The group met last month for the first time.

“If you don’t know people and you don’t have those supports, what do you do?” Lennox said. “Financial stress is what puts a lot of people on the streets.”

Aside from financial worries, Lennox has experienced a great deal of frustration dealing with the medical system. Considered a high-risk cancer patient, she was told the wait for an MRI would be three months. She wound up waiting 10.

“Some of the hardest parts are getting the doctors and people to do their jobs,” she said. “It’s on the patient to do a lot of the leg work…The reality is, now they’re saying there will be one in two Canadians that will have cancer in their lifetime.

“Cancer is a terrifying disease, but I have seen people heal themselves,” she added. “It’s not unbeatable.”

Her peer support group is only for patients. The next meeting is Wednesday, Dec. 13 from 2:30-5 p.m.

Contact Lennox for more details at Rebeccajlennox@gmail.com

Just Posted

Fundraisers in place long-time Comox Valley chef

Peter Bradley recovering from emergency brain surgery

Last Simms Park concert of the season to double as a food bank fundraiser

Bring a donation for the food bank to the My Generation concert, Sunday, Aug. 25

City of Courtenay adds pickleball courts Martin Park lacrosse box

Lacrosse, pickleball, and recreational ball hockey players in the Comox Valley can… Continue reading

Stage 3 water restrictions in the Comox Valley beginning September 3

Restrictions in effect until Sept. 27 for BC Hydro scheduled maintenance

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Community organizes drop-in cricket game

Alan Dafoe and a few other caring members of the community arranged… Continue reading

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

Opinions vary about single-use plastics

Local governments in the Comox Valley are enacting bylaws to regulate single-use… Continue reading

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Most Read