There’s support and help for people whose lives have been touched by cancer.

There’s support and help for people whose lives have been touched by cancer.

Johanna Hager, of Geneseo, who is a licensed clinical professional counselor, will lead a support group for those people with cancer and for those who love someone who has been diagnosed with cancer.

The group will begin meeting Tuesday, Oct. 3, and will meet weekly from 6 to 7:30 p.m. through Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.

Meetings will be held in Grace Place at First Lutheran Church, 114 East Main St., Geneseo. Anyone interested in joining the group is asked to sign up at the Welcome Center at the church, or call the church office, 944-3196. There is no cost to attend.

“When cancer touches our lives, it can be overwhelming and leave us feeling lost and alone,” Hager said. “There’s always light even in the darkest of times, and as we approach the holiday season, those attending the sessions will have support and help in navigating this journey.

“I believe I was called to conduct this group because of where my own journey with cancer began,” she said. “My maternal great-grandmother died of brain cancer when I was a young child. My maternal aunt survived colon cancer when I was nine years old. By the time I was 11, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and with surgery and much follow-up treatment, she survived that cancer until 2009. Unfortunately, this time she was diagnosed with metastatic cancer and freed of her suffering three weeks later.

“What I have learned over the years is how precious every moment is with others,” she said. “I want to help others affected by cancer both emotionally and spiritually.”

Hager chose Kenneth Haugh’s book, “Cancer Now What?” as a resource for the upcoming support group sessions because of the Stephens Ministries practical and useful information, while offering compassion, encouragement, and hope, she said.

“We are all stronger united,” Hager said. “It is my hope that together through clear, honest sharing of frustrations, worries, and joys that we may draw closer together to help all feel renewed.”

Hager has worked in the field of grief and trauma for more than 29 years. The class she is leading is an effort to offer a safe place for people to cope with the emotional aspects of cancer by sharing their feelings and challenges.