Sylvan Lake residents working toward holistic cancer wellness centre

A Sylvan Lake woman is spearheading a project that will benefit Central Albertans affected by cancer.

A Sylvan Lake woman is spearheading a project that will benefit Central Albertans affected by cancer.

Debbie Oostindie, along with a group of other determined individuals from Sylvan Lake, is working toward the construction of a wellness centre in Red Deer that will offer support for cancer-affected individuals and families throughout the region.

The aim, she said, is to create a holistic facility that will become an affiliate of Wellspring — a national charity that tends to the non-medical needs that accompany cancer.

Wellspring centres across the country offer cancer information sessions, dietary workshops, counselling services and more.

“We want to enhance and complement services already in place that help cancer patients,” said Oostindie. “There are a great many cancer patients in Central Alberta, and we want to provide a comprehensive range of supports, resources and programs to improve the quality of the life of each individual without having the added stress of having to travel.”

Oostindie in her own battle with cancer has been supported by her husband Ian. He too knows the need for such a facility.

“Too often, those who find out they or their family or friends have cancer are hit hard with the news and need immediate support,” he said. “Wellness centres can be a major support for people with cancer, right from the time when they receive the initial shock of the diagnosis onward.”

Robin Nicholas of the Central Alberta Cancer Centre in Red Deer noted that the centre, upon its completion, will “greatly enhance the journey through cancer for patients and their families.”

“I am excited to be a part of developing this project.”

Both volunteers and financial support are still needed in order to make the wellness centre a reality.

Further information may be obtained by emailing Debbie Oostindie at wellspringcaproject@gmail.com, or by visiting the Wellspring Central Alberta Project Facebook page.