A Mothers Promise
When Judy Burns’ daughter, Dawn, was faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis, the Burns family traveled all over the country seeking treatment for her rare condition.
Many of the hospitals they visited had support groups and programs readily available for cancer patients and Dawn chose to participate in them.
It was wonderful to see how easily she was able to express her feelings in the safety of a support group. These groups were of tremendous help to Dawn. She always felt better after sharing with others who could relate to what her experience was.
She felt more joy, more hope and more control of her life. Dawn always brought joy into the room with her, reaching out to others on their healing journey. Judy believes that these experiences helped to sustain Dawn through some difficult challenges and prolonged her life.
At that time, there were no cancer support programs near Alpena, so Judy said to her daughter, “If it’s the last thing I do…we will have such a group in Alpena.”
Friends Together is the fulfillment of that promise. Judy started Friends Together in 1996, six months after Dawn’s passing.
It all began around the same table that Judy so often sat with Dawn … sharing memories and a few good laughs. Together with Jeff Davis and Annette Miller, Social Workers, the dream started to materialize and these three “partners in the promise” along with many other dedicated community members, began Friends Together. Hundreds of lives in Northeast Michigan have been touched by programs of wellness and support.
The promise and the passion continues. Together as Friends we are determined to make a difference. Until we find a cure…others will know how much we care. The promise has been kept.
It is our mission to be the difference in the lives of friends during and after their cancer experience. We strive to build partnerships; provide programs and services; encourage prevention, wellness, and support.
No one in our community should have to experience cancer alone!