Breast cancer support group finds new location

Published 7:00 am Friday, September 27, 2019

A breast cancer support group aims to offer women a place to speak with fellow breast cancer patients and survivors.

The support group will meet every Tuesday at 10 a.m. and every Thursday at 6 p.m. at Foundation Christian Books and Gifts, located at 216 E. Canal St.

The group’s founder, Jennifer Tracoma, was diagnosed with breast cancer on Nov. 1, 2017 and on Nov. 22 Tracoma had a radical double mastectomy.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

When she was diagnosed, Tracoma expected to find a community of women with similar experiences, she said. Instead, she felt alone in her journey, from trying to figure out what to take to the hospital to knowing what to expect from surgery.

“I started the group, because I didn’t want anyone to feel alone,” Tracoma said.

The support group began in Oct. 2018, but met sporadically because an ideal location for meetings was unavailable. Tracoma wanted to find a calming, neutral space that was not in public, she said. Now the group will be meeting in a private room at Foundation Christian Books and Gifts.

Each week the group will discuss different topics, like health and nutrition. Tracoma said she also hopes the group will be a space where women can share their awkward and angry moments with each other, so they know they are not alone in facing those challenges. Attendees are welcome to bring a friend if attending the meetings makes them nervous, and Tracoma hopes to see the group grow to include breast cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.

“The goal is to have a community of women, so when we have someone newly diagnosed, we can be there for them,” Tracoma said.

That support may include making someone a meal, washing clothes or helping them know what to expect, she said.

While recovering from her own surgery, Tracoma was unable to lift her arms above her shoulders, which made tasks like washing her hair impossible. When she was able to get assistance in having her hair washed, it helped Tracoma feel better, she said. The bookstore was previously a hair salon, so there is a salon sink for washing hair, and any women who are post-surgery and want help washing their hair can contact her, Tracoma said.

For more information about the support group contact 804-356-3411 or email