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Cancer Support Community South Bay’s Joey Shanahan Knew There Was Only One Way to Keep Supporting Participants During the Pandemic. CSC Was Going to Have to Evolve.

  • Written by

    Amber Klinck

  • Photographed by

    Shane O’Donnell

It was early 2020 when Joey Shanahan took on the role of executive director for Cancer Support Community (CSC) South Bay. Originally known as The Wellness Community, the organization was founded in 1982 by Harold Benjamin in Santa Monica. In 1987, The Wellness Community-South Bay Cities opened its doors and then became Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach. 

Today the nonprofit is known as CSC South Bay to better reflect the broader community it serves. There are 175 CSC locations worldwide. 

For 34 years, CSC South Bay has provided free support services to cancer patients and their families from their location on the Redondo Beach Pier. 2022 marks CSC South Bay’s 35th anniversary, as well as the opening of its new location in the Rolling Hills Plaza in Torrance. 

The model for CSC services was in-person, peer-to-peer support. So when the COVID-19 pandemic hit—only two months after Joey joined the organization—the team at CSC South Bay had to change the way they were connecting with their community … and fast. 

“To even wrap our heads around how to move to a virtual world was pretty overwhelming,” she notes. “But we did it really quickly.” 

Within two weeks, all of CSC’s support groups were available on Zoom. Providing 200 support programs per month was a massive achievement and an invaluable resource for participants navigating cancer with the added uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. “Now sometimes when I look back, I’m kind of amazed at what a great job we were able to do,” she says.

Read More at Southbay.goldenstate.is

Long Beach breast cancer survivor to ‘celebrate wellness’ with Cancer Support Community South Bay

Long Beach resident Maggie Gallo has a story to tell — about surviving breast cancer.

And the 46-year-old breast cancer survivor is going to do so next month during the Cancer Support Community South Bay’s 25th annual Celebrate Wellness event on July 10. The nonprofit — which offers workshops, support groups and other help to those with cancer — will also celebrate its 35th anniversary during the event.

Gallo’s story centers on how long it took her to find out why she felt she was in ill health — nearly three years.

Gallo had complained to her doctors since December 2017 that she felt something was wrong. But results from a mammogram and ultrasound in early 2018, she said, came back normal.

Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach gets new name, location in February


By Michael Hixon | The Beach Reporter

Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach will celebrate its 35th anniversary with a new name and, this month, a new location.

The nonprofit — which offers more than 200 support programs each month and other free services for those impacted by cancer — announced on Tuesday, Jan. 25, that it has officially changed its name to Cancer Support Community South Bay, underscoring its growing ambitions. The newly dubbed CSCSB will also leave Redondo Beach and head to Torrance, moving to a facility in the Rolling Hills Plaza that is 1,300 square feet larger than its current digs, said Executive Director and CEO Joey Shanahan.

The organization, Shanahan said, outgrew its spot on the Redondo Beach Pier, where it had been since its inception, and will move out officially on Feb. 4.

CSCSB — part of a global network of 170 other locations — will also change its logo and web address; its url is now CSCSouthBay.org.

“CSC South Bay is making a substantial investment in the future of the organization,” Shanahan said, “by building an infrastructure to support expanding both in-person and virtual services.”

The new 5,600-square-foot location, 2601 Airport Drive, Suite 100, will allow them to expand, Shanahan said, with new programming, simultaneous support groups and a bigger staff.

And to answer a common request from the cancer community — what to cook and eat during active cancer treatment — the new space will include a demonstration kitchen and classroom space for up to 50 participants.

After two years of offering their services online during the coronavirus pandemic, Shanahan said, the nonprofit is now ready to go beyond virtual sessions — and continue growing.

Read More at dailybreeze.com

Why a Redondo Beach man is sharing his story of surviving breast cancer

By Kristy Hutchings, Contributing writer

It began as a dull ache.

Nilton Fonseca’s right breast began hurting in summer 2019. But rather than rush to the doctor, the Redondo Beach resident, now 54 years old, decided to treat the on-and-off aches in his chest with the occasional pain reliever or hot compress.

Fonseca’s home remedies worked for a time.

But in November, intense chest tightness hit three weekends in a row, seemingly resistant to his self-care methods. Fonseca could no longer ignore it.

He feared it was a heart attack.

A trip to urgent care dispelled that concern.

A series of tests followed in the months ahead, spurred by a lump the urgent care doctor discovered. It wasn’t until April 2020 that he received a diagnosis:

Fonseca had breast cancer.

“I was just floored,” Fonseca said. “Why me? That was the first thought that came to my mind.”

He had reason to be floored. Breast cancer in men is rare.

In the United States, about one of every 100 breast cancers are diagnosed in men. Women, however, face a one in eight chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetimes — and breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer among women, according to the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This year alone, the ACS estimates, around 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women — and that around 43,600 will die from the disease.

Breast cancer, no matter who develops it, is a serious and potentially deadly illness that has life-altering impacts.

Read More at dailybreeze.com

The Artist’s Way’ guided Hermosa Beach woman’s coaching of cancer patients

Karen Sidney discovered her life’s calling through the sometimes unlikely twists of a second-choice college major in business, a gift in training others — and in the storms of life, a miscarriage in her mid-40s and a shattering diagnosis of breast cancer four years ago.
Today, Sidney, of Hermosa Beach, has used all of that in a free program for other cancer survivors based on Julia Cameron’s best-selling workbook, “The Artist’s Way.”
Born in Burbank and raised in Orange County, Sidney attended USC and moved to the South Bay beach cities of Manhattan and Hermosa, following her then-boyfriend and husband-to-be, Mike. She wound up majoring in business in college after realizing her first choice, education, came against the backdrop of teachers being “laid off, right and left.”
Major in business, she was told, and you could do most anything.
She went into sales and marketing for Xerox Corp., and in her mid-20s, went to Coldwell Banker to train brokers in commercial real estate all over the country.
A turning point came later, when she became pregnant after she and her husband had tried for years to have children. It ended in a miscarriage at 44.
“I was trying to understand why this happened to me,” she said.
She spotted a flier for an “Artist’s Way” meeting at her church, the Redondo Beach Center for Spiritual Living, and thought: “That’s got my name on it.”
That was in 2002.

Read More at  dailybreeze.com

Former Raytheon manager to head Cancer Support SB

Deborah Patrick has been named the new president of the board of directors of  Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach. CSCRB offers more than 200 free support programs each month for cancer patients and their families.

Patrick is a retired Raytheon engineering manager. She became active in CSCRB in 2013 when her husband was diagnosed with an aggressive esophageal cancer. While participating in CSCRB’s caregiver group to support him, her sister and stepmother were diagnosed with breast cancer. Her husband succumbed to his disease in 2014, and shortly afterwards she faced her own battle with breast cancer. Over a two-year period, CSCRB provided four different support services for her—a caregiver group, bereavement group, individual counseling and a newly diagnosed breast cancer support group. Since the successful treatment for her cancer, Patrick has become a champion for the organization by sponsoring and speaking at CSCRB’s fundraising events and joining the board in 2016.

Read More at EasyReaderNews.com

Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach Offers Support To Cancer Patients

Aired October 25, 2020: Lisa Foxx from 104.3 MYFM talks to Nancy Lomibao, Program Director/Chief Clinical Officer of CSCRB. Nancy discussed the history of CSCRB and how they have been offering hundreds of support & healing programs to cancer patients and their loved ones for over 33 years all for free. We went into detail about the free classes/programs being offered monthly, everything from bereavement to networking & support groups, educational workshops with doctors, mind & body classes including yoga, Reiki, meditation and more. Like most other charities/non-profits who had to cancel their fundraisers due to COVID, she reminded listeners about giving back via donations on their website.

Read More and Listen to Audio Clip at iHeartradio 104.3 MYFM

Gratitude expressed virtually for CSCRB helps raise real dollars

Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand, who is battling stage four cancer, was among the speakers last Thursday who expressed their appreciation for Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach (CSCRB). Other speakers included Redondo High surf coach Duncan Avery and his wife Nohea who shared the story of their two children, who are fighting a rare brain cancer that was diagnosed in 2018, at ages four and six.

“Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach brought us a place of comfort,” Duncan Avery said. “It helped us bring our family together and know that we have a place of constant support.”

Ryan and Meghan Juinio expressed similar appreciation whe4n recounted Ryan’s four-year battle with brain cancer and its effect on their family and young daughter.

The talks were delivered at during “Sunset at the Beach,” CSCRB’s first ever virtual fundraiser. The evening was hosted by actor and comedian Mark DeCarlo and netted over $175,000.

“The outpouring of community support was overwhelming. We are humbled by the many sponsors, donors and attendees who contributed so generously despite not being able to have the in-person social interaction and all that goes along with our well known signature events,” said CSCRB Executive Director and CEO Joey Shanahan.

Read More at EasyReaderNews.com

Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach hosts first virtual event

Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach was built on in-person, emotional and social support for cancer patients and their families, but the coronavirus pandemic not only shut down its networking groups and other activities, it also forced the nonprofit to cancel its two major fundraising events, according to executive director/CEO Joey Shanahan.

The nonprofit shifted to Zoom events, but it has not been ideal, Shanahan said.

“The in-person connection is really important when you’re talking to other people with a similar experience when someone’s feeling emotional and needs an arm put around them or a hug,” she said. “Everyone is missing that.”

To replace CSCRB’s signature events, June’s “Celebrate Wellness” and “Girl’s Night Out” which normally takes place in October, they will host their first live stream event, “Sunset at the Beach,” Thursday, Oct. 1 from 6 to 7 p.m.

The free event will be hosted by actor and comedian Mark DeCarlo and will feature cancer survivor stories, live and silent auctions, and an appearance by Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand, who has been public about his recent cancer battle.

“The Cancer Support Community of Redondo Beach provides free services to all comers who are dealing with all the challenges a cancer battle brings,” said Brand in an email.

Brand went on to write the 30-year-old nonprofit “represents what is best about the South Bay” staffed with caring and gracious people who always look out for others no matter their race, religion, ethnic origin or circumstance.

Read More at TBRNews.com

Cancer Support Group Helps Each Other During Quarantine

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – Quarantine must be strict for people with weak immune systems because they could easily get sick, and if they get sick it could be devastating.

There is a group of people with weakened immune systems sharing a diagnosis and a virtual connection. They are helping each other not leave home.

Dawn Pfeifer was diagnosed with stage four cancer several years ago. Because of this she hasn’t left her home since January.

See video and read more at SpectrumNews1