For those fighting the battle of their lives, Canopy, a first-of-its-kind cancer survivorship center in the greater Houston area offers a wide variety of free programs and services addressing emotional, physical, and social needs. Located on the campus of Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, Canopy has been serving the community since 2016.
The mission of Canopy is to provide the finest support, education, and integrative medical services to all those impacted by cancer in Montgomery County and beyond, regardless of where patients are receiving treatment. Created to be a warm and welcoming place for those who visit, The Center serves as the primary location for activities aimed at helping patients and families throughout all phases of their illness, as well as assistance in navigating life after treatment. Because fighting cancer takes much more than expert care.
Canopy features a caring community of hope, healing, and empowerment to enhance the quality of life for individuals affected by cancer as well as those who support cancer survivors during their journeys. At The Center, survivors and their supporters will find an inviting, comfortable place where staff and volunteers help survivors address issues and concerns, relax and find ways to look and feel their very best – all in one comprehensive and supportive environment.
The Center is run by a staff of three amazing women - Amanda Poole, facility manager, Carolyn Allsen, Oncology Nurse Navigator and Katherine Mahan, Oncology Counselor. Volunteers make up the rest of the team, most of whom are cancer survivors. It takes about 70 volunteers to run the programs each year.
Canopy offers a wide variety of services, including:
· Oncology Nurse Navigator
· A cooking demonstration kitchen for nutritional education
· A large support group room for caregiver support sessions, yoga classes, tai chi, music, art, and dance therapy, "Ask the Doctor" sessions
· A small support group room for private counseling, small group counseling sessions, smoking cessation classes, meetings social workers or dieticians
· An onsite library and electronic resources
· A massage therapy room for individualized massage treatment
· A private dressing room area for breast prosthesis and bra fittings
· A wig salon for individuals coping with hair loss
Canopy recently initiated "Look Good Feel Better" sessions that provide wigs and breast prosthetics. This monthly American Cancer Society program teaches women and men undergoing cancer treatments how to cope with common cosmetic concerns and improve self-esteem. Spiritual support is also offered through the Chaplains at the hospital along with a bible study program which is currently virtual. Registration is needed for most programs. As their website is being redesigned, an up-to-date schedule is available on their Facebook page.
COVID-19 has shut down many of The Center’s activities, but Canopy is back open for counseling, coffee hours and socials. As people receive cancer diagnoses, Canopy is available for comfort and support.
Success at Canopy is defined by how many people they can impact which is only possible because of the graciousness of The Woodlands community. The biggest challenge is that visits have dropped from over 800 to 250-300 this year. Many of the donations that support The Center are raised through events which were canceled, and The Center is relying on community support.
Philanthropic funds are critical to ensure that services continue to be provided at no cost to cancer patients and family members that need them the most.
Laurie Bauermeister, of Laurie's Home Furnishings in Tomball was a guest of Canopy's for several years as she was being treated for cancer. Like Laurie, many of the guests will tell you "Canopy is what keeps me alive. I get dressed and someone expects and wants me to be in a space like Canopy for support.” Before losing her battle with cancer, Laurie left a legacy gift to Canopy. This gift will contribute over $140,000 yearly over the next 20 years.
Canopy is made possible by Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center Hospital and by philanthropic support through Memorial Hermann Foundation and Memorial Hermann In the Pink of Health who has raised $2M over the past several years.
You can help further Canopy’s mission by spreading the word or becoming a long-term donor. To support Canopy, visit www.thewoodlandscanopy.org or call the Memorial Hermann Foundation at 713.897.5838.