In our conversations with families who are journeying with prostate cancer, we often hear how women in their lives have little or no support for the stress and challenges that they face in supporting their loved ones. In the months since COVID-19 spread across the globe, we have come to realize that this lack of support has created even more stress and difficulties for those women who are an integral part of a man’s prostate cancer journey.
Drawing on Our Experience
Our new Online Women’s Support Group draws on our experience of launching and running our Online Men’s Support Group. Through that program, which we launched in May 2020 as we pivoted to an online focus, we have put together an effective way for focused groups to share experiences and support one another.
About Our Online Women’s Support Group
This new program is an online way for Fans for the Cure to begin to support women who are journeying with men dealing with a prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment, or recovery. This new program is an online way for Fans for the Cure to help women to share experiences, support each other, and benefit from the company of other women on journeys through prostate cancer.
To be clear, these support groups are not formal therapy or counseling. They are a way for women to gather virtually and informally to engage in conversations and support one another.
A Group for Women, Hosted by Women
Our experience with the men’s group has made it clear that getting together with a group made up of only men can at times provide the space and comfort that allows men to share candidly with each other. We understand and embrace this dynamic. That is why our Online Women’s Support Group will be for women only, and will be hosted by a woman, Karen Shaffer. A keynote speaker at the charity’s 2017 gala, Karen is a longtime friend of Fans for the Cure and the person we envisioned for the role when we imagined launching a women’s support group.
Our FIRST Meeting
We will hold our first Online Women’s Support Group video calls on a bi-weekly basis. Our next online support meeting is scheduled for:
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 7:00 ET
To attend this initial gathering, please read the section immediately below, entitled Join Our Online Support Group.
Join Our Online Support Group
When gathering online, we will use the online meeting tool, Zoom. To keep our Zoom calls as safe and welcoming as possible, we’ll use the following procedures for gaining access to our Zoom calls.
- To RSVP to attend our online support group, you will need to complete and submit the form below. If you are not available for our next meeting, you can use the same form to ask to be kept informed about upcoming online support meetings. (For security and safety reasons, we need to be careful about who can access the call.)
- You will need to have a Zoom account to join the call. You can register for a free Zoom account on the Zoom website.
- For practical reasons, we are limiting the number of folks to any single meeting to 30 people. We will accept RSVP on a first-come, first-served basis. Should there more than 30 women wishing to RSVP for calls, we will definitely explore the possibility of scheduling additional support group sessions.
- On the day of the meeting, those who have successfully registered for the online support group meeting will be sent the Zoom call link and password via email, at the email address used to register to attend. The Zoom call link will be emailed to those who registered about 30 minutes before the start of the meeting. SAFETY NOTE: Please do not share the Zoom link with anyone, and do not post the link on social media site.
RSVP Before 6 PM Please
Please RSVP to attend our Zoom meetings before 6:00 PM on the evening of the call. While we can still accept RSVP after 6:00 PM, those who RSVP after that time might experience delays in receiving the Zoom calls via email. (For RSVP received after 6:00 PM on the night of our meetings, we need to send the Zoom call invites by hand, rather than via our technology system.)
Help with Joining the Call
If you need help getting onto the Zoom call on the day of the Online Women’s Support Group’s meetings, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for help. Please note that this email address is only monitored in the hours before our Online Women’s Support Group meetings.
A Note about Online Safety
By now, we expect most folks will have heard of Zoom bombing. We’re eager to avoid this issue, and that desire is why we’re pursuing the workflow described above. We will be closely monitoring who we allow into our Zoom call. We’re not looking to exclude folks that we don’t know – yet, we’re serious in our efforts to avoid issues like Zoom bombing. Please understand if we ask you to verify your identity.
If you have questions about our new online support group program, or are struggling to access our meeting, please contact us at email@example.com.