SURPRISE, ARIZ., June 23, 2016 – As a cancer survivor and resident of Sun City West, Anne MacDonald was frustrated by the lack of cancer support services in the Northwest Valley.

“There is such a need out here,” said MacDonald, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer four years ago.

Her frustrations have been eased thanks to a monthly cancer support group jointly established by the CSCAZ logoCancer Support Community Arizona and Sun Health’s Community Education program. In addition to the support group, the partnership has resulted in monthly cancer education offerings at various Sun Health locations, all taught by professionals and provided at no cost to participants.

“We realized there was a big gap in services for the West Valley so we started looking for partners,” said Tracy Thurston, program director for Cancer Support Community Arizona, which has served the state for 17 years. “This partnership is a great opportunity to meet our mission and Sun Health’s mission.”

Jennifer Drago also is pleased. The executive vice president of Population Health oversees Sun Health’s Community Education program. “The partnership has allowed us to provide better support to cancer patients and their families who live on this side of town. Before, they often had to travel great distances to access these services.”

In addition to the support group, Cancer Support Community Arizona instructors teach two healthy meal preparation classes each month and a once-a-month class called Peaceful Breath and Relaxation.

Anne MacDonald has been spreading the word about the cancer support group in her social circles. “I want people to know about it and that it’s not a doom and gloom meeting,” she said. “It’s people supporting each other and sharing valuable information.”

  • The Cancer Support Group meets the third Tuesday of each month, from 9:30 to 10:30 m. at Grandview Terrace Health and Rehabilitation Center, 14505 W. Granite Valley Dr., Sun City West. Register by calling 602-712-1006.
  • The Peaceful Breath and Relaxation class meets the first Tuesday of each month from 9:30 to 10:30 m. at Grandview Terrace Health and Rehabilitation Center, 14505 W. Granite Valley Dr., Sun City West. Register by calling 602-712-1006.
  • The Healthy Meal Preparation for Cancer classes are offered on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 9 to 10 m. at the Sun Health Center for Health & Wellbeing, 14719 W. Grand Ave., Surprise. Registration is required due to limited class size. To register, call 623-207-1703.

 About the Cancer Support Community Arizona
Part of the global Cancer Support Community, the nonprofit Cancer Support Community Arizona is the only organization in Arizona providing comprehensive psychosocial support and services to people diagnosed with cancer. It serves individuals with all types of cancer, at any stage of their diagnosis, as well as their family, friends and caregivers. Services include group and individual support, healthy lifestyle activities, educational seminars, social connections and resources and referrals. In addition to Sun Health, programs are offered at other West Valley locations including the Peoria Community Center, Bellevue Heights Church and Benevilla Family and Resource Center.

About Sun Health
A long-standing champion of healthy living and superior health care, Sun Health is a community-based nonprofit providing pathways to population health through philanthropy, community wellness programs and services, and senior living programs and communities. Sun Health Community Wellness includes the Centers for Health & Wellbeing, Care Transitions, Medication Management, Memory Care Navigator, Vial of Life/File of Life, and Community Education programs. Learn more at  and

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