Once a month, a varied group of individuals gather for a catch up over lunch in Balcatta. While the common factor that connects them looms large, it's a subject rarely spoken about amongst the laughter and good humoured conversation.
According to group member Steve they look like just a normal bunch of people, except that we all have something in common that other people can't see...a cancer experience.
"We don't need to talk about cancer to understand there's a strong connection and sense of support between us and that's really thanks to the Cancer Council which offered the Life Now exercise class where we met," said Steve.
"Two years on we're still meeting up and celebrating the fact we are all still alive after different experiences of cancer," said group member Brian.
The group met after enrolling in and completing our 12 week Life Now exercise program in Balga.
Between the nine members of the group they have experienced around nine different cancers, some of them with multiple cancer experiences, which reflects our support for anyone affected by cancer regardless of their cancer type.
While some members of the group said the social side motivated them to complete our Life Now exercise program, they all agree their shared experiences have been the driver for keeping in touch.
"Initially we'd catch up for a coffee after our class, but when the classes ended we realised we were a good support network for each other because we've shared common experiences," said group member Julia, so the idea for a monthly lunch catch up was born.
Steve said the connections he made through our Life Now classes were a bonus, making him aware wasn't going through a cancer experience alone.
"My feeling is this group provides an ‘uncomplicated connection' to others who've been through a similar experience," he said.
They all agree...the connections they made through our Life Now exercise classes have been invaluable particularly after completing cancer treatment.
Group member Erin urged others affected by cancer not to be too proud to reach out to us for help.
"Family and friends can be a great support but I think you cannot underestimate the impact and benefit of others from outside of your circle.
"They can really make a big difference during a tough time," she said.
Our Life Now Project Officer Stephanie Lamb said social connectedness was one of the many benefits to the Life Now program.
To find out more about upcoming classes visit our Life Now page or call us on 13 11 20.