The organizer of a Cancer Sharing Circle was pleased with the first meeting of the new group on Sept. 12.

Kelsey McGinley: organizer pleased with turnout for first meeting of Cancer Sharing Circle in Hay River. NNSL file photo

“It went really well,” said Kelsey McGinley. “The number of people that actually came was more than I expected. So the outcome was really, really great. I think that the people that came were really appreciative that we put it together, and everyone seemed to participate really well.”

The meeting attracted about 10 people.

“I told myself if one person showed up that it was worth it, because I just wanted to do it to organize the event to help anyone that needed it, and if we had one participant then great,” she said.

McGinley said she really didn’t have any expectation of how many people would show up.

“But I definitely didn’t expect 10 people,” she said. “I thought maybe a couple of people would come. I had my own dad and my two sons and my spouse come. So I knew we were going to have them. It was a good turnout. I was really, really happy with it.”

Now moving forward, she hopes that more people will hear about the Cancer Sharing Circle by word of mouth.

“And hopefully it will just grow bigger and more people will feel more comfortable to come knowing that other people are coming,” she said. “I think the main issue we’re going to face with attendance is just people kind of being maybe not sure about coming because they don’t know enough about it.”

McGinley believes everybody in attendance benefitted from the first meeting.

“They were all telling me that they were very much looking forward to the next meeting,” she noted. “Even some people were asking if we could have it more than once a month. So I definitely feel that it was beneficial to people.”

The next meeting is set for Oct. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. at She Takes the Cake Café.

The 32-year-old McGinley previously told The Hub she could have been helped by a sharing circle when she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called choriocarcinoma in February 2016 and underwent treatment, including chemotherapy, before returning to Hay River in June of last year.

The Cancer Sharing Circle is the first initiative of the Karuna Group.

That is an organization McGinley is forming with the hope that it will eventually become a not-for-profit registered society.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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