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A nonprofit entity serving patients with cancer for 30 years will soon celebrate a grand opening at its new Antioch location.

Cancer Support Community has offered grief support, exercise classes, nutrition training and more to cancer patients in the Bay Area for three decades, functioning out of its Walnut Creek location. Now, with the opening of its Antioch location at 3505 Lone Tree Way, officials invite the community to help celebrate its opening on Friday, March 13, from 2 to 4 p.m., with refreshments and a meet ‘n’ greet with staff, board members and those Peter Dudley, Cancer Support Community chief development officer, calls community members.

“We don’t say we have clients; we say we have community members,” he said. “The people in support groups, all of the classes, everything we do is built around creating that sense of community, of people helping people and people belonging.”

Dudley expanded on the services, which include a broad range of psycho-social programs and services and professional counseling, in addition to classes centered around wellness for those living with cancer.

“Cancer doesn’t just affect us physically,” said Cancer Support Community CEO James Bouquin. “It affects us psychologically, financially and socially, increasing stress and feelings of isolation. That’s why we don’t just provide the best therapist-led counseling, educational workshops and exercise classes; we create a community where patients, survivors, caregivers and family members are all welcome and encouraged to participate. And best of all, we do all this entirely free of charge.”

To make it free for community members, Dudley noted funding for the organization is derived from individual donations, corporate sponsorships, fundraising events and charitable giving. When it comes to the Antioch location, the mission will be largely the same — to help people live longer and better with cancer — but Dudley shared that Cancer Support Community has recognized the needs in East County are different than the needs in the Lamorinda area. Some of the plans will be tailored to the new location.

“We plan on instituting some emergency financial grants to those with cancer,” he said, “and we’re planning on some transportation assistance.”

Dudley further stated the volunteers operating the center are bilingual, they live in the community and are either patients, survivors or caregivers of those affected by cancer.

“The volunteers are incredibly welcoming,” he added. “Everything we do is centered around making people feel at home.”

The celebration will be held at the center, located at 3505 Lone Tree Way in Antioch, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 13. For more information, visit www.cancersupport.net.

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