BEING diagnosed with cancer is a daunting experience and patients appreciate all the support they can get to deal with the challenges of diagnosis and treatment. It is for this reason that the cancer support group - No One Fights Alone - has been established at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital, Pietermaritzburg. Hospital manager Louis Joubert at Netcare St Anne’s said in addition to appropriate medical treatment, social and emotional support can greatly assist patients in dealing with he disease and its treatment. “Netcare St Anne’s Hospital is therefore pleased to partner with the CANSA support groups such as No One Fights Alone, an outstanding initiative which was started at the hospital on July 25, 2016. “Through various means, including counselling, the organisation ensures that oncology patients do not feel alone and unsupported,” said Joubert.A function was commemorated on July 28 to mark the anniversary of the support group. “CANSA patients, survivors, medical practitioners, care givers and the community came out to celebrate this event,” said Shubnum Ismail Marketing at Netcare St Anne’s. The releasing of over 40 balloons with a message in memory or a message of hope was released in the open air to commemorate the event. As part of Mandela Month Netcare St Anne’s was also awarded by Cansa for making a difference towards education and support initiatives in the community. “The thoughts flood through your mind,” she added. “What do I do now? Am I going to die? How am I going to deal with this? “We established No One Fights Alone as a space where cancer patients can find an ear to listen, a hand to hold and a heart to understand.” According to Noxolo, organisations such as No One Fights Alone , Hospice, Reach for Recovery, CANSA and Look Good Feel Better play a meaningful role in providing support to cancer patients in the greater Pietermaritzburg area. “Our approach is to provide our patients with a holistic service focused on their overall well being, and we therefore have no hesitation in partnering with these organisations,” she said.