Frequently Asked Questions

A: The Cancer Support Community (CSC) is a nonprofit organization that provides support, education and hope for people affected by cancer FREE of charge. Our services include support groups, stress management programs, exercise classes, educational workshops and social activities. Our local CSC opened in 2007, and is an independent chapter of a national organization that started in 1982.
A: Efforts that brought the Cancer Support Community to Greater Ann Arbor were spearheaded by local social worker Katie Pelz-Davis. When Katie’s husband Glenn was diagnosed with lung cancer in the late 90’s, Katie went in search of support services for her family – only to find they did not exist. To ensure other families would be able to find the support they needed, Katie pulled together a group of committed community volunteers who had each themselves been personally touched by cancer. This group understood that traditional medical treatment is only one piece of successful cancer care, and they set out to bring services to our area. The Cancer Support Community opened our doors locally in November 2007.
A: In 2011, the national headquarter offices of The Wellness Community and Gilda’s Club are working together as one, combined organization – Cancer Support Community. Cancer Support Community is the largest professionally-led network of fee-free cancer support worldwide, and is better equipped to meet the evolving needs of people touched by cancer by offering innovative and comprehensive support services.
A: For many people, cancer affects much more than ones physical body. People touched by cancer often also have emotional, psychological and social needs – and medical care might not be enough. Through research we know that services like those offered at the Cancer Support Community (called psychosocial support services) succeed in decreasing fatigue, depression and anxiety, and that they increase people’s ability to cope, their quality of life and even their immune system response. The evidence to support this type of care is so promising that the Institute of Medicine come out with a report stating that psychosocial care should be seen as an integral part of cancer care.

Services and Activities

A: Our participants are people who have cancer or who have completed treatment for cancer, as well as their family, friends and children. Our participants are people who want to improve their quality of life by becoming an active partner with their healthcare team. They want to focus on living with, through and beyond cancer.
A: Yes! We have specific groups for family and friends of the person with cancer – where people share their experiences and learn how to best support the person with cancer while at the same time, taking care of themselves. Also, support people are welcome to attend all other activities such as stress management and educational workshops.
A: No. Each participant decides which activities they believe will help them improve their own well-being or that they feel most comfortable with. One person may just come to yoga, or a support group, or a particular educational workshop that interests them, while another might take part in multiple activities each week.
A: The Cancer Support Community is the only organization of its kind in the greater Washtenaw County Area. While hospitals do have some support and educational activities, The Cancer Support Community offers a comfortable, home-like setting that helps you truly create a community of people who can understand your cancer journey. The Cancer Support Community offers a very comprehensive complement to the health care system. The Cancer Support Community works very closely with the local hospital and cancer centers, and many of the people who participate in services at CSC hear about us through the hospitals.
A: No. The Cancer Support Community offers services that are not offered at these other organizations. The ACS does offer some direct services, mostly related to resource referrals. They do not offer psychosocial support services (exercise, stress management, nutrition education, support groups etc.) Hospice organizations work well with people at the end of life and after there has been a loss. At CSC we work with people from initial diagnosis, through cancer and beyond. This may mean people come to activities at the end stages of life, but it could also mean that they have been cancer free for many years. The Cancer Support Community has strong relationships with the local hospice organizations and the local chapter of ACS and we refer people to one another regularly.
A: No. The program is meant to support and complement medical treatment. The Cancer Support Community does not have medical staff and individuals are to seek their own treatment.

Funding and Volunteering

A: There are many ways to get involved with this wonderful center. Of course, if you are touched by cancer you can come and use the services. Everything is free. You can volunteer – either regularly or for activities as they come up. You can make a donation of money, services or items the center needs. You can also get involved in a leadership capacity by volunteering on the Board of Directors, the Community Council or the Professional Advisory Board. If you would like to explore these, or other options, feel free to call Bonnie at the center, or look for opportunities online under the volunteer section.
A: The Cancer Support Community is funded by a combination of private donations, fund-raising events and grants. Gifts to the Cancer Support Community have immense value as we could not exist without this community support. Gifts are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.
A: We love it when people take a financial interest in The Cancer Support Community! Click here to review our 990.
A: Yes! Gifts of items we use regularly help us keep more money going to provide activities to cancer survivors and their loved ones. An updated list of needs can be provided through our office.
A: Below is a list of items that we are currently accepting for donation.
Kitchen & Bathroom Supplies:

Individually wrapped snacks
Bags of apples or oranges
Keurig coffee K-cups
Bottled water
Juice boxes
Toilet paper
Trash bags (kitchen and bathroom size)
Liquid hand soap
Cleaning supplies
Bottled water
Paper plates
Office Supplies:

Printer paper
Blank name tags
Red 2 pocket folders
4 drawer filing cabinet

A: Yes! We have a very small paid staff. Volunteers are the life blood of the Cancer Support Community. They do everything from greet new participants and answer phones, to delivering calendars in the community, to running exercise programs. We encourage you to call the center if you would like to volunteer, or submit a volunteer application online following the volunteer opportunities link.


The Cancer Support Community
2010 Hogback Road, Suite 3
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Phone: (734)-975-2500
Fax: (734)-975-2525