American Cancer Society’s Bosom Buddies
The word bosom originates from an Old English word meaning breast or womb. Because our breast contains our heart, it is also known as the place where emotions and intimate feelings reside. Close friends are sometimes called bosom buddies. The local chapter of the American Cancer Society could not have selected a more appropriate name for its breast cancer support group. Bosom Buddies has been meeting in Santa Clarita for nearly two decades, providing a comfortable setting for breast cancer patients and survivors to share stories, express fears, and exchange ideas for handling difficult issues.
The group has had several facilitators over the years including Sue Stone and Laura Scott. But in 2010 the inspiring Heather Warrick, who served the American Cancer Society in a number of roles, asked Agnes Russell to lead the group. Agnes was a member of the group but hesitated to undertake the position because she didn’t feel she was capable. Heather convinced her that she had just the right skills. Nancy Coulter, Heather’s mother, says of Agnes, “She is the perfect balance of understanding, care and concern and has a terrific way of making people feel special. Her words and hugs make survivors feel loved and safe.”
Agnes, an 18-year breast cancer survivor who has received many honors including the 2006 Longaberger Heather Warrick Award and the 2011 Soroptimist Ruby Award, still leads the group. Sometimes speakers come to provide information and education. Sometimes participants just want to talk and share. Those who have experience help those who need advice. The group provides warm, emotional support and Agnes says, “If I can help one person along their journey, I feel happy.”
Bosom Buddies meets the second Monday of each month at 7:00 pm in the Henry Mayo Fitness Center on Town Center Drive. Agnes hopes that anyone in need of support, information, or hugs will join them!
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