Alaska Native Collaborative Cancer Survivor Project

Cancer survivor demonstrates the Photovoice project.
Photo by Ellen Lopez

After two years of grassroots work, CANHR’s Ellen Lopez, along with Freda Williams of Fairbanks Native Association, are establishing a Fairbanks area Alaska Native Cancer Survivor Group for cancer survivors and their loved ones.

The project work has been introductory and exploratory in order to truly hear what survivors and their loved ones identify as their priority needs. In addition to in-depth interviews with survivors, Lopez is also conducting a small Photovoice project, where Alaska Native cancer survivors are given cameras to photograph and discuss with other survivors specific aspects of their experiences. These photos are providing fresh information to the CANHR-FNA collaboration.

As a result, beginning March 20, 2012 Lopez and Williams will host several support group sessions with cancer survivors and their loved ones to answer the question: “What impacts quality of life for Alaska Native cancer survivors and what can we do to help survivors thrive?”  This project is funded by a small grant to FNA from Native People for Cancer Control and the Institute of Translational Health Sciences.

Lopez and Williams believe that survivor stories will further inform cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment and quality of life.

Both women see opportunities for expanding cancer survivor groups and resources to rural Alaska communities.

ANCCSP presentation via Youtube

Freda Williams:  907-452-5225, fwillliams@fairbanksnative.org
Ellen Lopez, Ph.D.:  907-474-7318, edlopez@alaska.edu

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