REACH Program

REACH stands for Resources, Educate, Advocacy, Care, and Hope. Focusing on these five components, the program provides support and other services to help reduce the stress of the patient and their family through all phases of treatment and recovery. The REACH Coordinator meets with every Bismarck Cancer Center patient to discuss their diagnosis and treatment plan, apply for programs that offer financial assistance, learn about life as a cancer survivor, and much more.

Spotlight on the REACH Coordinator

Deb has a ‘giving heart’ that has helped many cancer patients find hope during their darkest hours.

Deb is Bismarck Cancer Center’s REACH coordinator and is there to offer support and to help relieve the stress through all stages of treatment.  She counsels cancer patients that are going through treatment now and those that had cancer years ago.  Deb knows firsthand the stress that one can endure during cancer.  Her life changing moment was in March 2008 when she was told that she had breast cancer.  “You don’t know what you need to know, until you’ve actually experienced it,” says Deb, “and before cancer, I didn’t know anything about it.”  In November 2008, Deb first walked through the doors at the Bismarck Cancer Center to begin her radiation treatment after surgery and chemotherapy.  She didn’t realize at the time she’d still be here eight years later as an employee of BCC.  “God never wastes a hurt” is her favorite quote when talking about her cancer journey. 

Deb grew up with a mother that helped shape how she looks at ‘life and faith’, “She’s very empathetic and never judges people.  My mother always felt it’s God’s job to judge, not ours.”  Deb moved several times while growing up which taught her, “There’s good people wherever you go. There’s a lot of kindness and giving out there.”  She graduated college from Minot State University and got her master degree through UND-MSW as a licensed independent clinical oncology social worker.  Deb has used her ‘hurt’ of cancer to help hundreds of people deal with their battle every year.  She started a cancer support group in February 2009, “There were only two people coming to the group when I started and now we have over 15, depending on the night!”  

Deb works three days a week at the Bismarck Cancer Center with her support groups on the 3rd and 4th Tuesday of the month and the 2nd and 3rd Thursday of each month at 5:30.   Her favorite hobbies are spending time with her three grown kids and seven grandkids, baking bread and traveling with her husband.  And the legacy Deb wants to leave behind?   “Faith is believing what you can’t see, but when you have God in your heart you see him all around you.  God loves you no matter what, so love him and love others.  If you believe that, there’s so much goodness out there.” 

Money donated to the Bismarck Cancer Center Foundation will help give patients the support they need to heal the mind, body and spirit with services such as REACH therapy, massage therapy, housing, and gas cards.