Great Plains Rehab Services may be best known for selling products and services it provides, but they also have an employee who is looking to make a difference. Joyce LaChapelle offers support groups to women who are suffering or have suffered from breast cancer. Twenty-four years ago, a breast cancer support group met for the first time, and Joyce LaChapelle has been running those meetings for 23 of those years.
(Joyce LaChapelle, Great Plains Rehabilitation Services): "You can have had a lumpectomy. You can have had a mastectomy bilateral. You can have had reconstruction. As long as you've had a breast cancer, we encourage you to come.”
And you won't find any Kleenex boxes at these meetings.
(LaChapelle): "They don't tend to cry. They don't have this, 'Poor me.' It's like, 'What am I going to do to beat this?' And the women that come to the group, they are the most encouraging; they are the smartest women. And they come prepared. They ask a ton of questions.”
(Kathleen Donahue, Support Group member): "The group takes a holistic approach to healing. We just don't address the surgery or the chemo treatments. We talk about the person as a whole, so our topics are very varied and interesting and they apply directly to us.” Kathleen Donahue has been cancer-free for seven years and still comes to the meetings.
(Donahue): "I used to have long hair. I had long hair for 25 years. Well, this was the group when I lost my hair that convinced me to pop my wig, and you know, be proud, you know, that I was surviving.” The breast cancer support group keeps spirits high for those with the disease and those who have beaten it.
(Donahue): "They remind me how blessed I am by my husband, my family, my friends. And the group, they are an inspiration to me. The women, I don't think I could have survived without them.” And they feel the same way about her. Great Plains Rehab will also be hosting an open house on October tenth from nine to four. The event will be featuring the Amoena collection of post-mastectomy apparel.
Mark Charter, Reporting