a haven of strength and hope for over 20 years
Together, We Can Find Strength and Connection
Sojourner Truth. ca. 1864. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/98501244/.
Dear Friends and Members of Cancer Connection’s Community,

Do you know?

The name of the Florence resident I quoted in our previous e-newsletter? “Why didn’t I include the person’s name,” you ask? I desired that you relate to a someone who lived in our area. Someone who fought for injustices more than 100 years ago. Someone whose influence we would neither negate nor support because this person had no labels; the person’s gender, ethnicity, and name did not matter. What mattered was the person’s commitment to rights for all. I shared the person’s age to allow all of us to be inspired knowing that age is irrelevant in the fight for equality.

Who is this person? Isabella [Belle] Baumfree, Ms. Sojourner Truth. Ms. Truth lived in Florence (Northampton) where she “joined the Association of Education and Industry, a communally-run farm and silk factory, encountered the anti-slavery movement for the first time, and began her career as an spokesperson for abolitionism, temperance, and woman's rights (rights for White women AND Black women), and bought her home in Florence when the Association dissolved in 1846. She was born a slave, escaped to freedom with her infant daughter, and is the first Black woman to win a case against a white man to recover her son in 1828. A member of the suffragette movement, she was asked to forego the inclusion of the rights of Black women in the women’s rights movement.”

https://www.massmoments.org/moment-details/northampton-dedicates-sojourner-truth-statue.html. Information about the photo here .
Happy summer!

As we confront the injustices in our country and reflect upon the need for change, one surety we have is the seasons continue to change and we depend upon their individual personalities. During this time, join me in recognizing the fathers. Today I share a picture with my father and my mother at my seminary graduation. Their faith and leadership brought me to this moment. My father taught me to believe in myself. He saw a shy, intelligent child who loved sports. He bought me my first typewriter so I could write my thoughts, took me to the Red Sox and Celtics games, and stood up for me when a teacher belittled me. His belief in me strengthened me to push back at the discrimination I faced at the seminary – discrimination because I was a woman, inquisitive, and had dark skin. To our fathers, thank you for standing with your children, believing in them, guiding them, and protecting them. What you offer them is priceless. Happy Father’s Day!

The Journey continues.

People dealing with cancer or caring for loved ones with cancer are trying to safeguard their health the best way they can. Yet, they don't want to be isolated. Hear from two of our participants, Chris and Naomi, about what is helpful to them in using our services. 

Want to share your story? Please reply to this email, and Cindy Tarail will reply back to you.

Thank you for your commitment to Cancer Connection during this unsettling time. Please
continue to tell your friends and family facing cancer that we are here for them @ 413-586-


Beverly L. Herbert, Executive Director

Dancing Together from Home
Our Music & Movement @ Home class has taken place via video conference for the past 10 weeks now. When they heard about the article in our e-news, participants jumped at the
chance to share their experience. What was it like to be a newcomer? What's it like for them to participate by video? What do they get out of Music & Movement?
Chris, Member of Music & Movement Class
When she signed up for Music & Movement, Chris found "the whole idea of doing something like this in front of or with other people a bit out of my comfort zone.” She “gave it a try anyway."

She said everyone is warmly welcoming. "AND - if I don’t want to think about someone else seeing what I’m doing I just close my eyes, because if I can’t see them they can’t see me. Tee hee!"

Chris said the class accommodates different abilities, whether because of treatments or other
limitations. People "feel like what they are doing is just perfect. The music provides
encouragement to move whether it’s tapping toes while sitting in a chair or full-out
dancing. Each class starts out slowly, builds momentum. Then it winds down to a peaceful and meditative ending."

While Chris said she was "really hesitant to try this via video, and the first time was hard, as the weeks have rolled by, it has become almost the norm. It is truly a highlight of my week. Kudos to Cancer Connection for figuring out a way to keep providing this important
service for people in treatment, for survivors, and for caregivers."
Naomi, Member of Music & Movement Class
Naomi attended her first Music & Movement class shortly after her “husband was diagnosed
with cancer. Cancer Connection was recommended by his oncologist and we came over to
find out was available. I quickly felt embraced by the group because of the tone of ease,
acceptance, truly tender, loving, care. I felt 'seen.'”

Naomi calls it her “'happy hour.' The group sustained me through many months of my husband’s treatment and since he died last August. It is a time of pleasure.”

What was it like for Naomi to switch to video? "At first, I couldn’t imagine the class being held
on Zoom but the same warmth and acceptance, and unconditional care, and fun atmosphere is here. There we are, dancing in our own homes, welcoming people’s cats and dogs who wander in, and somehow feeling the same closeness and pleasure we did in the living room at Cancer Connection. I enjoy the physicality, the movement, the music, the bonding with the others – the pleasure of being in a space that is non-judgmental and loving and fun."
If you want to give this class a try, please call Cancer Connection at 413-586-1642 and leave a message and available times. A Befriender will get in touch with you.
Finding Strength and Comfort from Home
Pam Roberts, Writing Group Facilitator
For the past several months we have transitioned key elements of our usual programming to remote delivery. Here are the current updates.
As always, if you would like individual support, call our Center at 413-586-1642. Please leave a phone message and available times. A Befriender will call you back.

Several of our regular integrative therapists are available for telephone support. We focus on guided imagery and relaxation through two telephone options:

  • Calming Strategies and Relaxation: recordings with Ann Buscemi
  • Calming Strategies – Telehealth: phone sessions with Nancy Carter-Price, Peggy Schjeldahl, and Bernadette Nicholson


All Support Groups are meeting on their regular schedules. We use several different video and audio conferencing tools.


The following programs will continue to meet during July and August:

  • Hands in Clay with Val Gilman, Mondays, 10 AM – 12 PM (via Zoom)
  • Rest to Heal with Jaimee Roncone, Mondays, 2 PM – 3 PM (via Zoom)
  • Spirit of the Written Word with Pam Roberts, Tuesdays, 2 PM – 4 PM (via conference call during July only; taking a break for August)
  • Music & Movement with Robin Diamond, Thursdays, 11 AM – 12 PM (via Zoom)

We are working to reschedule other planned Spring 2020 programs including:

  • Lymphedema: Everything You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask with Kathryn Fleming
  • Death Café with Sarah Malzone
For specific meeting dates and more information, please email our Program Director :
To access any of these programs or services, call our center at 413-586-1642 and leave a phone message and available times. A Befriender will call you back.
How to Reach Our Center and Thrift Shop

Cancer Connection's Center

We are still here for you.
Know somebody who needs support?
Have questions about any of our programs and services?

Please call or email and give us available times to speak with you.

We are checking phone and email messages regularly.

We will call or email you back as usual.

Phone :

General Email:     

41 Locust Street, Northampton, MA

For continued updates about our services, please visit our  website:

Cancer Connection Thrift Shop

Thrift Shop Phone : 413-587-9999

Thrift Shop Address: 375 South Street in Northampton, MA

Due to COVID-19, the store is working on reopening, date to be announced.

Visit the Thrift Shop's   Facebook page   or   web page   for updates.