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Fostering a Compassionate Community

​Sherry Bishop and Sharon Foster of St. John’s, Newfoundland have both been living with metastatic breast cancer for seven years. They have motivated, inspired, and supported each other since they met six years ago. Prior to meeting, they both experienced the isolation and fear that comes with the diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. Despite being welcomed and loved by the breast cancer support group they had both been attending, the reality of the words “terminal” and “incurable” was not something that the others had experienced.
After realizing the empowering, uplifting impact sharing the experience with another person who “gets it” brings, they wanted to share that support with others facing the same diagnosis. This led to the start of their metastatic peer support group “Sharing, Hoping, Empowering” or “S.H.E.” This group offers a safe place for people with metastatic breast cancer to share their deepest concerns, anxieties, experiences and hopes, without fear of diminishing the hopes of the newly diagnosed.
Pictured (l-r): Sherry Bishop and Sharon Foster
“We need to shine a light on this disease so we can get the research needed to extend the lives of those living with metastatic breast cancer,” says Sherry. “Those of us living with metastatic breast cancer need to know that we matter. We need to have hope, and that hope comes in the form of research and support for finding a cure for this disease,” Sharon added.
Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support – which merged with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) earlier this year – was instrumental in helping them bring their idea for a support group to reality through facilitator training, resources and guidance. Sherry and Sharon are grateful to CBCF for their continued commitment to supporting women with metastatic breast cancer across Canada.  CBCF’s volunteer training workshops provide useful guidelines; training in communications and facilitation skills; self-care and boundaries; strategies for dealing with common challenges; and outreach ideas and tools. The workshops also provide the opportunity for volunteers to connect with others doing similar work, to share experiences and lessons learned and to become rejuvenated in their role by practicing self-care.
Both women feel there is a lack of awareness regarding metastatic breast cancer within the general population and even in the breast cancer community itself. They believe awareness is a crucial first step in the development of treatments, programs, services and research which are desperately needed for this incurable disease. 
Support & Information Programs - Through our recent merger with Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support, we are able to provide supportive programs to help meet the unique emotional and informational needs of Canadians affected by metastatic breast cancer. CBCF’s team of support specialists provide peer support and credible information to Canadians affected by any type of breast cancer. All members of our team have had a diagnosis of breast cancer and have undergone an extensive training program to offer compassionate support and tailored information – via phone, email or in-person. They continue to keep up-to-date in their knowledge of breast cancer and available supportive resources – including information and resources specific to metastatic breast cancer.   
CBCF’s Volunteer Training program provides training and ongoing support to volunteers seeking to start and sustain community-based peer support groups for women with breast cancer, including those with metastatic breast cancer.
Our publication, Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer, now in its third edition, is a unique Canadian resource designed to help women understand their diagnosis and treatment options, advocate for themselves, and care for their emotional well-being while living with a metastatic diagnosis. Information specific to metastatic breast cancer is also available on our comprehensive website for breast cancer information and support.

Support Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer

The Canadian Cancer Society's collection of Gifts for the Cure offers a way to create change for women’s health and all those affected by breast cancer.

Among our 14 impactful gifts, you can purchase the gift of Supporting Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer to give hope to women who are living with metastatic breast cancer. Your gift will fund critical research to discover new treatments with fewer side effects and to better understand this disease. Your gift will also connect women with other women to strengthen and widen their support community and provide the information and support they need to thrive and live life to the fullest.

Purchase this gift now.

More than 25,000 Canadians are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and their personal journeys are unique and deeply moving.