Bridging the Sexual Health Gap: Cancer Services of NE Indiana & Reclaiming Intimacy

Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana logo

In 2014, an important round table discussion began at Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana about the lack of sexual dysfunction and sexual issues discussion around not only our city, but across the United States. The fact that cancer patients and those facing chronic, long-term illness have no real access to appropriate or valid information when it comes to sexual health and wellness before, during, and after medical treatments was distressing to everyone in attendance. This is where our research began and where we at Reclaiming Intimacy truly saw the need for someone to help to bridge the gap in sexual wellness and sexual dysfunction patient care and helping to provide solutions to intimacy related problems. That is exactly what we began to do.

Reclaiming Intimacy’s Director of Educational Services, Jen F., and Gail H. from Cancer Services 2014

After a few months of planning and approvals, Reclaiming Intimacy and Cancer Services joined forces for our first public course on sexual wellness and intimacy after cancer called, “The Big O & The Big C: Intimacy & Cancer.” There were many hurdles to cross and topics to learn to approach with respect and honesty, along with the empathy and compassion that cancer patients deserve. In the first class, we heard repeatedly how happy patients were to see this information being presented, and how excited they were to take the information back home to their own situations and lives. Since that first course, we have seen and privately coached dozens of referrals from Cancer Services which have led to many patients reclaiming their own personal sexuality and intimacy!

Through the years, we at Reclaiming Intimacy have done numerous presentations at, and with the staff of, Cancer Services. We feel that our organizations together help to bring together the mental, biochemical and body issues that many cancer patients face with their Cancer Services advocate, mixed with the solutions that Reclaiming Intimacy can offer with therapeutic aids, devices and expert product knowledge. We continue to partner to help broaden the knowledge in our community of the importance of sexual wellness and intimacy patient care!

Reclaiming Intimacy is a Fort Wayne based cancer and illness advocacy organization that is working to partner with patient-service based cancer and illness organizations nationwide. We are striving to fill the gap and provide a solid, steady resource that is here to help not only patients, but to train staff on sexual wellness and the varying therapeutic aids available to those facing cancer and sexual dysfunction issues today. We do this by offering our resource library, Partner exclusives and packages, Cancer Crusader club, educational services (offered in a variety of ways), therapeutic aids and devices with access to our product specialists, intimacy specialists, and much more.

Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana is the leading non-profit patient advocacy provider of cancer related services and assistance in the Northern Indiana area. Not only do they offer a myriad of programs that touch on all educational aspects, but they also offer patient-centered services like Yoga classes, nutrition classes, and personalized supportive counseling and they have a trained sexual wellness advocate on staff. They can help patients with their transportation needs and any need they may have for home health care supplies and durable medical equipment. Plus, they have an amazing wig, hat & scarves area where patients can select their own wig in a private and respectable place!

Together Cancer Services of NE Indiana and Reclaiming Intimacy will work to continue to push the importance of human intimacy needs, sexual wellness and the benefits of sexual health to all in our community. We encourage all cancer patients to never give up on their sexual or intimacy needs! Where there is a will, there is always a way!

One of our first events with Cancer Services, before our Reclaiming Intimacy brand was official.

A special note:

A very big THANK YOU to Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana and their staff for helping us to spread the word and break through barriers in patient care! We look forward to a continued partnership helping to link Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana together with better sexual wellness advocacy and coverage!

Resources Used:

Cancer Services of NE IN ( https://www.cancer-services.org )

Reclaiming Intimacy  (www.reclaimingintimacy.org )

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