Breast Cancer Support Group Returns To In-Person Meetings

Members of Your Bosom Buddies II breast cancer support group at a meeting held before the pandemic.

For more than a year, the local support group for breast cancer patients and survivors, Your Bosom Buddies II (YBBII), has continued its mission on a virtual platform.

However, on Thursday, Aug 12 at 7 p.m., members will finally have the opportunity to sit in the same room together — in person. The meeting will take place at the Regional Cancer Center at Wellington, operated by Genesis Care, located at 10141 W. Forest Hill Blvd. on the Wellington Regional Medical Center campus.

This meeting is a unique hybrid event, offered both in person and simultaneously on a virtual platform.

“Your Bosom Buddies II is going through its own metamorphosis,” said Dr. Kathleen Minnick, a longtime YBBII member and supporter. “It now falls under the guidance and facilitation of Genesis Care. This gives us an opportunity to have an organized support group with an excellent reputation in the community.”

Often, the butterfly serves as a symbol of recovery and change for cancer patients. The YBBII meetings, held on the second Thursday each month, include unique resources for attendees ranging from guest speakers and yoga instruction to art therapy. The upcoming meeting will embrace the butterfly theme with an origami butterfly art project.

“It’s a celebration of a post-COVID-19 beginning, and a beginning of this new hybrid group,” said Dr. Cindy Collins, who is the facilitator of the meetings through Genesis Care.

Collins, who holds a doctorate in psychology, sees infinite potential in the support group meetings.

“I’m also a dietician, so I always make sure that the meetings have a good blend of information on nutrition as well as stress management,” she said. “We meet the goals of what the patients bring as well. It’s for the patients. The meeting is for them and about them.”

While the team is excited to finally get back to face-to-face interactions, they understand that many group members may not be comfortable or able to attend but still want to participate.

“We’re going to continue the digital portion of the meetings, so patients who cannot or choose not to come in person will still be able to attend. This is going to give us the opportunity to allow people from other locations to join in, too,” Minnick said. “So, anywhere that Genesis Care has a patient or an oncology center, they will be able to participate with us the second Thursday of every month. Patients may also choose to create their own chapters, such as a working mom’s group or a retiree group that meets during the day instead of at night. This is really allowing us to expand to serve the needs of all the different people who get breast cancer.”

Long term, both Minnick and Collins are optimistic about having the group branch out to allow support for more specialized groups as well.

“One benefit we’ve found in having these Zoom meetings is that you can be anywhere in the state or anywhere in the country and attend our meetings,” Collins said. “I have several support groups that I’ve been doing this entire time only via Zoom, and now I have so many more patients who are able to come. With the hybrid model, we are really happy to know that it is going to open up for Genesis Care patients throughout the State of Florida first, and then eventually throughout the country.”

To attend the meeting in person, no RSVP or supplies are required, but be prepared by bringing your mask. Due to the immunocompromised nature of the patients, masks are required inside the clinic.

Those wishing to attend virtually and participate in the butterfly origami art therapy should contact Collins at (561) 512-0065 or for details.