Local nonprofit helps families dealing with a loved who has cancer start the new year on a good note

Posted at 11:20 AM, Dec 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-29 11:20:46-05

BEACHWOOD, Ohio — It’s that time of year again. It's time to set goals and new resolutions, but for some that can be easier said than done, especially families who have a loved one dealing with cancer.

That’s where one local group is helping to support families coping with the emotional, physical, social and spiritual impact of hearing the words, "you have cancer."

The Gathering Place in Beachwood has been doing it for almost 20 years.

This coming year it is encouraging patients and their families to do something that can sometimes fall by the wayside — self-care.

“Sometimes when people think of self-care, they think of the word selfish, and those are two very different words. When you’re focusing on self care it’s really about finding some balance,” said Kristina Austin, chief marketing officer, for the Gathering Place.

What it means is each person takes time throughout the day to do something for themselves that makes them feel good, healthy and cared for.

Throughout the year, the nonprofit holds free special classes, support groups and programs for families. The New Year's Resolution Program is no different.

Teaching things like how to self-perform reiki therapy, how to eat better and more. These are things Johanna Henz says she’s been practicing for years since she was diagnosed with cancer in 2015.

“It seems very common sense, but nobody thinks of it and nobody does it. And self-care is hard, and I’ve actually learned a lot of that here,” Henz said.

Starting in January, The Gathering Place will help families find that balance of focusing on nutrition, self-love, exercise, daily notes, and encouragement. Programs will be structured around these themes.

Austin says the focus on self-care is something that anyone can actually do, cancer diagnosis or not.

if you’re interested in signing up, you can email the Gathering Place directly at