Sanctuary receives Komen grant for survivor scholarships

Grass Lake Sanctuary (GLS) recently became the recipient of the 2011 Susan G Komen for the Cure grant for the Mid-Michigan region.

The non-profit organization will receive $39,810 to serve 80 women who are survivors of breast cancer.

The grant will benefit cancer survivors between the ages of 30 to 65 years of age allowing them to participate in a 3-day stay on a 145-acre nature preserve and retreat center in Manchester, said Tom Egan, executive director of Grass Lake Sanctuary.

In particular, it will support the Women's Wellness Leaders program, which intends to inspire a community of breast cancer survivor leaders and will also nurture and support a culture of wellness.

Because of the grant, scholarships will be available for the underinsured, under served or low-income individuals.

Survivors in seven counties including Jackson, Washtenaw, Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Livingston, and Shiawassee will be eligible for the scholarships.

"They will have the opportunity to connect with nature, enjoy foods for health, de-stress and rejuvenate" a spokesperson said.

"Getting the Komen Grant really validates the impact of our programs," Egan said.

"The program offered will primarily address the sense of isolation and disconnect that can follow medical treatment by cultivating a deep sense of connection and belonging among program participants."

Egan added that survivors are inspired to engage in the benefits of eating better and exercising more often.

Organizers say that this is the second year that Grass Lake Sanctuary will serve the public with programs assisted by grant money. The first year brought pilot programs with the help of the James A and Faith Knight Foundation.

"The Knight Foundation allowed us to run the pilot programs which got us the attention for the Komen grant," Egan noted.

The Susan G Komen For The Cure is the most widely known, largest and best-funded breast cancer organization in the U.S, a GLS spokesperson said.

Komen has invested nearly $2 billion for breast cancer research, education, advocacy, health services and social support programs in the US and through partnerships abroad, GLS said.

"At the Komen Mid-Michigan Affiliate, we conducted a needs assessment of our community and discovered the need for psychosocial support for breast cancer survivors," said Chris Pearson, executive director.

"We know improving the quality of health for breast cancer survivors, including access to physical, psychological and social support may lead to better cancer outcomes for patients.

"Women in Mid-Michigan will benefit from the comprehensive program at Grass lake Sanctuary designed to help address these critical issues."

Published: Mon, May 2, 2011

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