How spiritual support can help cancer patients

When you've been diagnosed with cancer, it has a way of putting things in perspective.

You think about life differently and the people around you. Many also turn to faith.

Getting spiritual support when battling breast cancer can make a difference.

In his many years as chaplain at GBMC, Joe Hart has seen the heartache and anguish that comes with a cancer diagnosis.

Hart says, "We live in a world where most of us want to be in control of our worlds. Disease is a way that takes us away from that control, we are not in control of it."

Many patients will seek spiritual support. Hart remembers one such patient who turned her fight against breast cancer into something positive.

"Stephie was a very courageous woman who utilized cancer as a means of a tool for helping others," Hart says.

Stephanie Evans wrote this book with chaplain hart to help other women battling breast cancer.

It's been used as a resource at GBMC and now it's a lasting legacy in Stephanie's honor. She died several years ago.

Hart says, "For her, God was very much a part of her journey, and as a result she did not fear. And she wanted that to be known to as many women as possible not to be afraid."

It's the message of hope chaplain hart wants everyone to hear despite their diagnosis.

Hart says, "We always want to lace any disease process with hope. That is the core of our humanity, we want to be people of hope. So though death may be an end point, the question is, in light of a terrible diagnosis, how can we spiritually support."

It's that hope that carried Stephanie through the tough times. Her outlook on life rooted in faith.

Stephanie's family and friends started a foundation after her death to continue to help cancer patients.

If you need support or would like to get a free copy of her book, send your information to "The Stephanie Evans Prayer Bear Foundation" at 2023 Garden Drive, Forest Hill, MD 21050.

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