Women LISTEN is an Alaskan organization founded in 2002 by a group of women cancer survivors. We are dedicated to serving women living with cancer by focusing on sharing information, offering emotional support and practical ideas, advocating for people with cancer, and connecting women in meaningful ways. Women LISTEN’s mission is represented in our name, which stands for: laugh, inform, support, talk, empower and network. We offer a weekly support group, as well as retreats and other events.
How Pick.Click.Give. makes a difference
Women LISTEN programs, which include weekly support group meetings, three annual retreats, and compassionate giving and wellness support, are funded entirely by Alaskan donors and grants. All Women LISTEN board members and program facilitators are volunteers; therefore, every Pick.Click.Give. donation directly supports the Women LISTEN participants.
The goal of Women LISTEN is to promote the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of women who have had a diagnosis of cancer. Our Program Director, who is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, facilitates the weekly support group meetings and oversees the retreat offerings. All women, from newly diagnosed to long-term survivors, are encouraged to participate. At the weekly group meetings, women find ongoing supportive group discussions that facilitate education, referral, emotional support and advocacy, as well as address day-to-day issues related to diagnosis, treatment and recovery from cancer. Support group participant, Kelly, shared these thoughts:
“Listening to other women share their experiences, helped me learn about a ‘medical world’ I had never known about before. Women LISTEN helped me learn how to get the best care. It empowered me with information, no strings attached!”
To support women who are recently diagnosed, Women LISTEN provides small comfort items that promote “quality of life” and emotional wellness, which compliment standard medical care during their adjustment to cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Through the generous support of grants and donations, Women LISTEN has been able to provide retreats that promote renewal, recovery, and social networking with other cancer survivors. Trained volunteer facilitators, create an atmosphere where participants learn healthy coping, relaxation and leisure strategies, as well as experience renewal and hope in a healing environment. Because of generous donations, Women LISTEN was able to offer three annual retreats the past two years - one Fly-Fishing Retreat in Wasilla and two “Soothe your Soul” retreats in Girdwood. One retreat participant wrote:
“I liked everything about the retreat, especially the caring and sharing. I learned that I am not alone. The retreat was more than I expected; it changed my life.”