Komen Chicago Success Story

sch_primary_stack_rgbSwedish Covenant Hospital’s Community Breast Health Program has received Komen Chicago funding for the past 6 years. The program provided culturally and linguistically appropriate breast health services, which include biopsies and the coordination of and navigation to survivorship support services for uninsured and very low-income women on Chicago’s north and northwest sides. Here is a success story from one of their patients who was able to receive survivorship support services due to Komen Chicago Funding:

Every Thursday, the ICCP partners with the Artist in Residence program offer free art activities that encourage healing to survivors. March’s theme was Cancer Cosmigraphics. Cosmigraphics are representations of individuals’ understanding of how the world looks.  Depictions historically portrayed the earth as the center of the universe.  Now, artistic expressions portray the earth as part of a larger universe.

Going through cancer can change how individuals view the world around them. When a person receives a cancer diagnosis, it may feel like their world is revolving around the diagnosis.   Interestingly enough, cancer can grow and reproduce in spirals that can look extremely similar to galactic images. Portraying cancer cells through collages, sketches and painting in shapes and images similar to phenomena naturally occurring in space can sometimes help put everything in perspective.

“When I started coming to art group and participating in other ICCP offerings, such as meditation and Galter Life Center, I found relief in being able to express my cancer journey,” said Brenda, a breast cancer survivor who participated in the program.  “Things that I had held inside were able to be expressed and I found comradery in others’ journeys. In addition to finding relief in expression, I recently found out that my heart function increased from a 25% capacity to a 30% capacity, which I believe is connected in some part to my participation in the ICCP.”