Cape Cod cancer care group launches three new initiatives
Cape Wellness Collaborative is expanding its programs with three new initiatives – WellnessEats, WellnessMoves, and WellnessCares – that will provide additional support to people with cancer and their caregivers.
“These new initiatives are things we’ve been thinking about for years and we feel like the time is right where we can move ahead,” said Cape Wellness Collaborative (CWC) founder Sarah Swain.
Cape Wellness Collaborative is a local nonprofit that provides integrative wellness therapies (including massage, acupuncture, Reiki and nutrition counseling) to people facing cancer in our community.
Over the past three years, CWC has served 500 people, improving their quality of life.
“That program is running like a top, and the feedback we get from our clients is overwhelmingly positive” said Swain. “Last week, we sent out 13 Wellness Cards in one day. That was how much we used to do in a month!”
The new initiatives are launching now, Swain said, because “the right people have come along to help make it happen.”
CWC will prepare and deliver nutrient-dense meals to cancer patients.
CWC is building the Wellness Eats program framework with Nicole Cormier, owner of Delicious Living Nutrition and The Local Juice; Gabrielle Kennedy, a healthy lifestyle chef; and Dianna Carpentieri, a dietician and nutritionist who works in the oncology department at Cape Cod Healthcare. Rory Eames, the owner of Organic Market in Mashpee and Dennisport, rounds out the team and will assist in supplying the ingredients. The team is communicating with similar organizations across the country who are already doing this work in their communities.
“Our end goal is to deliver nutrient-dense, delicious meals to people undergoing cancer treatment in a Meals on Wheels-style program,” said Swain.
A 12-week pilot program will be launched in January.
“To start with, all the meals will be frozen,” said Swain. “That way we can cook it in batches and people can use it as needed.
“Initially, it’s going to be Gabrielle, Nicole, Dianna and volunteers cooking. Dianna will identify people who would be good candidates for the pilot program and these candidates will be provided vouchers for the frozen meals that can be picked up at CWC. Over the course of the next few years we see this growing into a larger program where volunteers can help prepare and deliver the meals to the homes of our clients.”
CWC’s team of professionals is passionate about food and nutrition and getting healthy meals to people who really need them, said Swain.
It’s heart-wrenching to hear about people who don’t have a caregiver or have nutritional challenges during cancer treatment,” she said. “There are certain cancers where people have dietary restrictions, and getting nutrient-dense calories into someone going through cancer treatment in general can be a challenge. We’re trying to keep all of that in mind and our goal is to make sure that people in our community have the nourishing support that they deserve.”
CWC is partnering with yoga studios across Cape Cod to offer discounted vouchers to CWC clients.
“Studies have found that women with breast cancer who did yoga had better quality of life, fewer symptoms and better outcomes,” said Swain. “The results were better than they had anticipated.
“The nice thing about yoga is you can go into a yoga class and the practice can meet you wherever your energy level is. The benefits of movement and the feeling of community and connection that is found in a yoga class, make people feel good”
Mary Catherine Starr, a local yoga teacher, is heading up outreach for WellnessMoves.
CWC is providing support to the caregivers of people with cancer.
“We have partnered with caregiving consultant Louisa Stringer, founder of Your Caregiver Journey,” said Swain. “She will meet with caregivers of our clients and see how we can best support them.
“Caregivers are so focused on the person they’re caring for that often they get overlooked. The self-care they need to keep themselves in a good place, in a healthy place, is usually the first thing to go by the wayside. In order to do a great job for the people that they love and are caring for, they need to have support.
Stringer will help caregivers find the tools of self-care that they need, which can mean different things for different people, Swain said. Possibilities include group meditation classes and cooking classes.
To learn more about CWC, watch this new video or visit the CWC web site.