Bill's Story

Bonnie Schuman
Last Modified: May 25, 1997

I know how important the well-being of cancer patients is to you, and I want you to know how important The Wellness Community is to me.

After my diagnosis of testicular cancer, major surgery and chemotherapy, I knew I needed a support group. When I finally got to The Wellness Community I found the place where I could unburden myself and finally move on to, "What now?" 

I loved The Wellness Community immediately. The orientation meeting was the first opportunity I had to be with cancer patients outside of a hospital. Sure, I was bald and had cancer but, at The Wellness Community, I felt normal. In this safe and comfortable home environment, where people understood and cared about me, I could let it all out. And believe me, I did. From day one I realized the members of my support group and I had a shared hope -- RECOVERY. Each week as we talked about these tough issues TOGETHER we laughed, cried, expressed our worst fears and joined forces to face our mutual enemy -- cancer. After every meeting I found that my life was better. Much better!

I am thrilled to tell you that I am now CANCER FREE! Having faced death, I now enjoy being alive more than ever. I decided I want to help others too -- I've become an orientation leader. What a privilege to be here for cancer patients coming to The Wellness Community for the first time. Welcoming them and serving as an example that THERE IS HOPE. I always tell them, "Yes, it's true, your life is never the same after cancer. But that doesn't mean it can't be better." I know it can, because my life is. For one thing, the quality of my relationships has improved because of what I've learned at The Wellness Community. I am also making a career change. In September I begin the UCLA graduate school of Social Work. This is a direct result of my experiences at The Wellness Community.

The Wellness Community played an integral part in my picking up the pieces, facing the challenges and creating an ever improved life. Now, when people express how marvelous it is that The Wellness Community does not charge for any of its services I am compelled to reply, "The Wellness Community is not only free -- it's priceless!"


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