Friday, August 31, 2012

#46: Get Free Stuff

I work in the health system, so I am intimately aware of the programming and resources that are available to healthcare consumers. When I found myself bored and bummed out on my sick leave, I took to Google. I Googled "free stuff for cancer patients".

No such list exists on the internet (at least not one Ontario or Canada specific), so I am creating one. Through other Google searches, I found a ton of organizations dedicated to cancer patients that offer a range of resources to people newly diagnosed, or long-time survivors. Here's my anything-but-exhaustive-list of free services for cancer survivors:

1. A gym membership (Extreme Fitness) (note 04/17/2016 - Extreme Fitness no longer exists and neither does this offer. Which is a shame because the free membership helped me get back in shape after cancer. Someone else please offer this!)
2. A retreat with other young adult survivors (Young Adult Cancer Canada or YACC)
3. Survivor conference registration, meals, accommodations and travel assistance (YACC)
4. Cancer Summit registration, accommodations and travel assistance (Stupid Cancer)
5. An outdoor adventure experience in North America (First Descents)
6. A Cottage Vacation (Cottage Dreams)
7. Support groups, yoga, raiki, art therapy, etc. etc. (Wellspring)
8. Support groups, picnics, movie nights, art therapy, etc., etc. (Gilda's Club)
9. Housekeeping services (Cleaning for a Reason)
10. A boxful of brand name makeup (Look Good Feel Better)

... and much more. My disclaimer is that I still paid for a lot. Even though treatment is covered by provincial insurance, there were still a lot of unanticipated expenses.

My sister and I at Retreat Yourself East,
in Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland.
But, that's what makes the free things so worthwhile. I'm proud to say I took advantage of each item on my list, and hope that someone else might reap the same benefits. Cancer treatment sucks, but that doesn't mean you can't have a little fun in the meantime!  


  1. Hi Stephanie. So glad to see you took part in a Look Good Feel Better workshop. Our two-hour workshops are absolutely free; our participants learn a ton of useful info and leave with a great box of goodies (as you noted). Your readers can visit to find a workshop in their area.

    Chantal Richard, Look Good Feel Better &

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