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Ann’s Place: Offering Healing Support for Those Impacted by Cancer

Ann's placeA picture of Ann’s Place (from their site)

The other week, my colleagues Gillian, Sue, Leonardo, and I had the privilege of taking a tour of Ann’s Place, a nonprofit organization in Danbury, Connecticut that provides support to those whose lives are impacted by cancer. Their healing resources, which are all provided free of charge, include professional counseling, support groups, wellness activities such as yoga and art, and educational resources.

At present, Ann’s Place serves about 1,100 clients of all ages who have or are impacted by all types of cancer. Our deeply moving tour was facilitated by clinical director Su Murdock, a licensed clinical social worker who has been with the organization since 2000. We were so inspired by the good work being done by Su, her colleagues, and their large team of kind-hearted volunteers that we wanted to share more with you.

women posed for a group shotSome of our team with some of Ann’s Place’s team, standing on the beautiful deck over the gardens. From left to right: Sheraton Caregivers founder and case manager Gillian, our RN Sue, one of our art therapists Sophie Slater, Su Murdock of Ann’s Place and her colleagues Kimberley Locke (clinical assistant) and Candy Dayana Dube (LCSW, Bilingual Licensed Clinician)

Throughout our tour of Ann’s Place’s beautiful and spacious facilities, we reflected upon how tragically ubiquitous cancer is. We reminisced about loved ones who succumbed to cancer and others who survived, from parents and grandparents to dear friends. We discussed the unfathomable ways cancer can impact the family unit and how much the services at Ann’s Place must be of benefit.

We spoke about Ann’s Place’s men’s group, which provides a safe processing ground for men with prostate cancer. We saw powerful photographs on display of young women who are battling breast cancer. We learned about the numerous support systems for children impacted by cancer. These include special groups for children diagnosed with cancer and those who have a parent with the illness.

podiumThe spacious upstairs of Ann’s Place, where educational lectures take place.

Ann’s Place is housed in a bright and spacious building, which was completed just over a decade ago after quite a few determined years of fundraising. Each welcoming room serves a unique purpose. There is a large art studio, a children’s room, a studio for meditative movement, a yoga space, a series of comfortable rooms for support groups, a massage room, a library, an open kitchen, a comfortable lounge area, and a gorgeous deck overlooking the forest.

paper cranesBeautiful paper cranes that were made as a team project.

The building itself is surrounded by nature. Horticultural therapists have worked hard to create a series of gardens for clients, including one with carnivorous plants. There is also a labyrinth which can be used for walking meditation and reflection.

To learn more about this phenomenal non-profit organization, including ways you can help out, please visit https://www.annsplace.org.

Christmas treeA special Christmas tree from a past year’s Festival of Trees fundraiser.

If you are in the Danbury area this weekend, you can support Ann’s Place by attending their annual Festival of Trees, a holiday-themed fundraiser that takes place in the Danbury Sports Dome. Check out http://www.annsplacefestivaloftrees.org for more information. We will be there!

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