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When Maria was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, she faced many emotional challenges. “It was a very intense period for me. When I was diagnosed, at first, I felt quite depressed,” she shared. “I didn’t think I was going to continue, because they tell you such strong things that you think: ‘Wow!’”

Maria’s insurance worker recommended that she reach out to CancerCare when she expressed the challenges she was facing and she joined a support group. “When I arrived here, in the first group, I saw other peers as well, we each shared our diagnosis, how we felt. We were very supportive of each other.”

By connecting to others with similar experiences, Maria knew she wasn’t alone. “You find out the real support that you have because there are more people with the same thing.”

Both the emotional and the practical support that CancerCare offers were important to her. “Aside from the very strong emotional support they bring you, they also help you financially, support you with other things such as wigs, if you need them, they send you coats for the cold weather.”

Maria has words of encouragement for other people facing a cancer diagnosis. “A cancer diagnosis is not necessarily death, although that has already been instilled in us. It can be fought and encouragement and a positive attitude help 80%. Do not let yourselves be discouraged, fight and try to move forward. Everything will be all right.”

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