Boston Cancer Support

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Boston Cancer Support 1

The Boston, Massachusetts area has many cancer support groups. The cancer support groups that have been included have been considered compelling for their extensive membership engagement or the size and national recognition of their cancer support community.

Facing Cancer Together

  • The purpose of Facing Cancer Together is to promote hope, empowerment and connection for people with cancer and their loved ones.
  • Facing Cancer Together offers a variety of cancer support groups including general cancer, caregiver, and adult bereavement support groups.
  • Facing Cancer Together also offers a variety of activities and events like writing for wellness, Chinese brush painting, reiki, art exhibits, and run/walk events.
  • The communication methods of Facing Cancer Together are a website, blogging, and a social media presence on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Facing Cancer Together currently has 215 followers on Twitter and 641 followers on Facebook. Facing Cancer Together has been considered to be compelling and appealing for the wide variety of support groups, activities, and events that they offer to the Boston community.
  • Twitter engagement peaked with 68 likes for one post and an average of 5% supporter engagement overall for the past six months.
  • Facebook engagement peaked with 27 loves and 7 likes for one post and an average of 3% support engagement overall for the last six months.

Dana-Farber Young Adult Support

  • The purpose of this Boston community cancer support group for young adults age 18-39 years old that is sponsored by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is to address the unique concerns and emotional needs of young adults with cancer.
  • The Dana-Farber young adult cancer support group is open to young adults with cancer in the Boston community even if they are not patients at Dana-Farber and is a part of a young adult program. Dana-Farber also hosts an annual young adult cancer conference with workshops that facilitate social interaction and greater understanding among young adults and their caregivers.
  • The ongoing communication methods of the Dana-Farber young adult support group are a web page, and a social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Spotify.
  • Dana-Farber young adult cancer support currently has 1,860 followers on Twitter and 607 followers on Facebook. Dana-Farber young adult cancer support has been considered to be compelling and appealing because of its specialized focus on helping young adults to connect with their peers and fulfill their emotional needs.
  • Twitter engagement peaked with 38 likes for one post and an average of 2% supporter engagement overall over the last six months.
  • Facebook engagement peaked with 56 loves for one post and an average of 2% supporter engagement overall over the past six months.

Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Community

  • The purpose of the Beth Israel Deaconess cancer community, affiliated with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is to offer support and information for people with cancer and their loved ones.
  • This cancer support community also offers counseling and education programs.
  • The Beth Israel Deaconess cancer community has its own website with no specific social media presence, although Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has a social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
  • The Beth Israel Deaconess cancer community is large, and the cancer center that it is affiliated with has been nationally recognized with an Outstanding Achievement award.

Research Strategy

We first researched cancer support groups in the Boston area that also had extensive membership engagement on social media from multiple credible sources like their group websites, Twitter, and Facebook. We then researched other cancer support groups in the Boston area that are large and well recognized to complete our findings.
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Boston Cancer Support 2

The organizations in Boston, Massachusetts, that provide cancer support and are large or have extensive member engagement are Boston North Cancer Association, Boston Medical Cancer Care Center, and Boston Cancer Support. Boston North Cancer Association has been in operation since 1926 with a mission to support cancer care, projects, programs, campaigns, research, and education. Boston Medical Cancer Care Center offers cancer patients with support in every step from diagnosis to recovery. The main purpose of Boston Cancer Support is to enhance the overall quality of life for cancer patients.

Boston North Cancer Association, Inc.

  • The Boston North Cancer Association, Inc., previously known as the Lynn Cancer Association, Inc., has been in the industry since 1926 and continues to provide the resources necessary for cancer care, prevention, and treatment. The non-profit organization's mission is to support and fund special cancer projects for research, care, and education.
  • The group consists of 15 board members who help in upholding the mission to create and develop cancer care programs for patients. In 2011, the organization was officially named Boston North Cancer Association to better reflect its continued growth and commitment to providing support to all communities in and around North Shore of Massachusetts.
  • The association has provided over $1 million in funding through its Community Grants Program, Professional Development Grants Program, and scholarships. Through its Community Grants Program, the association helps reduce the risk of cancer and helps enhance patients' well-being and health. Through its Professional Development Grants Program, the association aims to improve the treatment and detection of cancer by funding skills and education training opportunities.
  • The association encourages people, companies, and communities to donate funds via their website to support their programs, campaigns, and projects. Boston North Cancer Association also has a presence on social media and utilizes channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to reach out to supporters.
  • Boston North Cancer Association offers grants up to $20,000 each year in support of resources and community programs for cancer education and prevention. It was found that grant requests are limited to $5,000 with only one application accepted from each organization. The association currently serves 34 communities in Essex County, Massachusetts.

Boston Medical Cancer Care Center

  • The purpose of the organization's Cancer Care Center is to provide support to cancer patients throughout every aspect of care from diagnosis to recovery. The activities as part of the organization's initiative for cancer support includes cancer support programs, patient navigators, social work, nutrition, and genetic counseling. The organization has acquired a large/extensive member and supporter engagement through its social media channels.
  • Communication methods used by the organization are through its support groups, where the dedicated team encourages anyone who wants to offer to participate in meetings via phone and one-on-one support, where a patient can talk to a cancer survivor or with someone who has had a similar experience. The Cancer Center also provides support services and activities specifically designed for cancer survivors. This is to help support them through mind and body activities and skill-building activities.
  • A sample newsletter of programs/activities being offered by the organization for cancer patients this year can be found here.
  • In 2018, it was reported that over 32 volunteers served more than three hours across 16 different hospital roles to help cancer patients, on an average day. Across seven different volunteer programs, people offered over 1,000 hours of service. Volunteer Ambassadors and Refugee Health Patient Navigators invested over 2,000 hours of their time to support cancer care programs.
  • The center's social media engagement with its supporters are as follows,

Boston Cancer Support

  • The primary purpose of the organization is to enhance the overall quality of life for cancer patients in Massachusetts. The vision of the organization is to provide patients, caregivers, families, and professionals with resources, information, and collaborative local communities that offer help with medical, practical, and psychosocial issues of cancer.
  • Boston Cancer Support's website provides information on financial aid opportunities, subsidized or free lodging, resources for any clinical trial, support groups, and transportation to obtain treatments at the town, city, region, and state level. The organization also operates three cancer programs,
    • Cancer Collaborative: This program aims to provide networking opportunities and professional development with the tools and resources needed to maintain an effective partnership. The program is designed for social workers, patient navigators, nurses, community health workers, and organizations that support cancer patients and their caregivers/families.
    • Treatment Transport Program: In collaboration with Lyft, this program offers free transportation for cancer patients to get to their support groups and medical treatments.
    • Randi Friedman Wellness Grants: This initiative supports cancer patients by providing integrative therapies like stress management, meditation, gentle Pilates, and restorative yoga.
  • The community is packed with testimonials from patients, cancer patient's families, and healthcare personnel. According to the testimonials, the organization is found to have contributed significantly in every level of the patients' medical treatment.
  • The organization has Podcast engagements and some Youtube engagement with the help of its partners.
  • The organization encourages supporters to donate funds to support their initiative on cancer care.
  • Boston Cancer Support has received ample financial support through private funding by the foundation and partners.

Research Strategy:

To determine the organizations, groups, and/or communities in Boston, Massachusetts, that provide cancer support, and are large or have extensive member engagement, we began our search by looking through lists of non-profit cancer organizations and hospitals within the greater Boston region that have cancer support centers. We also looked for groups and communities that provide cancer support by looking through industry-specific websites such as, GreatNonProfits, and MassNonProfits; and association websites such as the American Cancer Society. After an extensive search through these channels, we were able to obtain three distinguishing organizations in Boston that provide cancer support, are large, and have a high member engagement rate.