Posted: Sunday, October 2, 2016 6:00 am
Cancer Services of Grant County, a nonprofit organization, has been providing help to those with cancer since 1959, when it started as a grassroots effort to combat cancer.
Jennifer Lane-Riefler, the executive director of CSGC, said that anyone who lives, works or is treated in Grant County can use their resources. She estimates that the organization helps about 500 people every year.
She said that everybody experiences cancer in a different way, but with modern advances in technology and medicine there are so many more possibilities than there used to be.
"Everybody's story is different," Lane-Riefler said. "But the good news is that people don't have to die from cancer anymore."
The organization is equipped to handle most everything. And if there is something they do not currently offer for a patient, they'll find a way to get it. Lane-Riefler said that they are more than willing to work with other nonprofit organizations to get their patients the care they need.
In 2012, CSGC became a fully accredited mastectomy fitting facility to keep up with the high rates of breast cancer in the county.
Jen Wilson, the intake coordinator, is one of the three staff members certified to fit women with prosthetics after a mastectomy. She said that there are not many facilities around this area that offer this service.
In the back of CSGC's headquarters, there are hundreds of mastectomy bras and prosthetic breasts for women to choose from. Wilson said that for some women the experience of finding a new bra can be intimidating, but most women are ready to get a bra and prosthetic that fit and are comfortable.
"It's a really intimate situation," she said. "They've been through surgery, they don't look the same. Most women, though, they've been through a lot already, so they're just like 'yeah I don't care, it doesn't matter, just fix me up.'"
Each person can get up to 12 bras every year, and Wilson said that typically a mastectomy bra is good for about three months, but can go longer if it is well taken care of.
Rocky Whitehead, a client advocate, said that since no two people are the same, it's important to stay up to date on what's available so he can make informed recommendations.
"Ultimately, our goal is to lift as much of the burden off of them as we can," he said.