A PARTICIPANT PROFILE
CHARLIE BROWN"Without The Wellness Community, our cancer journey would have been bleak and scary."
After two years of fruitless tests and visits with specialists, Charlie Brown was finally diagnosed in 2006 with Hairy Cell Leukemia, a rare form of cancer. “In a way it was a relief to find out exactly what my diagnosis was so I could start researching it on the Internet,” says Charlie.
Charlie learned that Hairy Cell Leukemia is a chronic disease that can be effectively treated with chemotherapy, producing complete or partial remissions that can last for years. With his wife Judy supporting him, Charlie embarked on his cancer journey determined to retain his sense of humor and to derive as much pleasure as possible from his hard-earned retirement.
While accompanying Charlie to visit one of his doctors, Judy noticed a calendar of events from The Wellness Community on the physician’s bulletin board. “I suggested we visit TWC and check out the support groups they offer for participant and caregivers,” she said. Charlie agreed, and initially thought they would be in the same group together. When he learned this was not the case, Charlie was hesitant but decided to give it a shot. Charlie quickly realized the benefit of having his own group. “No matter how loving a couple may be, there’s always the danger of hurting each others’ feelings.” “The members of my group helped me become more effective in fighting this difficult cancer,” he said. “They encouraged me to become an active member of my treatment team and to fully explore my options. I always had a lot to discuss with Judy afterwards.”
The education and support Charlie and Judy found at the TWC have sustained them throughout their cancer journey. “I feel wonderfully safe and secure in my weekly Tuesday morning support group. I've made so many friends there, who have become part of our extended family. Without The Wellness Community, our cancer journey would have been bleak and scary,” he said.
Today, Charlie is in remission, enjoying his life with Judy and their three children, six grandchildren and two dogs. “One of our favorite activities is spending time camping, fishing and hiking at Christopher Creek. We recently had a family reunion there.” With his sense of humor, Charlie refers to his condition as “cured until the next time.” “I'm so glad that I found The Wellness Community,” he said. “Anyone contending with cancer should take a visit to their wonderful historic home in Phoenix. They’ll be very glad they did.”