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Happy First Anniversary! - A Note From Moncton

Written by Wayne Harrigan, PCCN Greater Moncton

When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2009, it was a surprise to me to learn that there were only two support groups in all of New Brunswick, Fredericton and Miramichi.  There had been active groups in Moncton and Saint John, but not for quite a number of years.

Living in New Brunswick, we were aware of Peter Mallette (Director, Atlantic Region) as a media personality with ATV.  We did not know his connection with Prostate Cancer Canada.  I first met Peter at the Blue Tie event in Moncton on February 24, 2011.  At this point, I was not planning to be involved with a support group other than I felt there should be one.  In the meantime, I was gathering information for my own benefit.  I had decided almost two years before to follow active surveillance. 

In March 2011, the resource centre had opened in Halifax and we saw some media coverage in our area.  A month later Peter and Carol Murray (Community Development Manager) were in Moncton to host a booth on prostate cancer awareness at a local golf show.  They arranged to have dinner with me and discuss the possibilities of a local support group.  I agreed there was a need, but was still hopeful that someone else might take up the challenge.  
Wayne and Barb participate in the 2011 Father’s Day Walk/Run in Halifax.

After much discussion, my wife Barb and I decided to co-ordinate a support group under the PCCN umbrella.  We received great encouragement from Peter in Halifax, and we were delighted to learn there would be a new group in Saint John starting around the same time.  

Our launch in Moncton was on November 2, 2011 at the YMCA.  Peter and Carol attended and Peter spoke to the group of about fifty people who gathered to show support.  We have had great cooperation from the Halifax office for all the details concerning the start-up of a new support group.  

Shortly after our group was launched, I learned that I would require treatment for prostate cancer, and my surgery was scheduled for January 9, 2012.  Both Peter and Carol have been encouraging to us as we have undergone this experience.  I say that our support group very quickly became my support group, and I have first-hand knowledge of how helpful this can be.

Barb and I have had several meals with Carol on her way through Moncton, but we also keep in touch with both Carol and Peter on a regular basis.  This is very helpful.  In addition, we have had our posters done by them, as well as our brochures.  

Even before our group was launched, last October Peter and Carol arranged for us to attend the national PCCN conference in Halifax.  As “new kids on the block”, we felt this was a great help and we did meet many support group leaders from all parts of Canada.  A conference highlight was the open house at the resource centre which the delegates attended.  It was our first visit to the office and it is impressive.  It is great that Atlantic Canada was chosen as the site of the first regional office.  We keep a close watch on their activities and realize how much time and effort they contribute to the work of all the Atlantic groups, many like us who are new.

There is great reason to celebrate a first, very successful, year!     

More information on:
The Atlantic Office
Support Groups
The 2012 Father's Day Walk/Run


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