There’s a new organization in Richmond Hill aimed at helping cancer patients and their families who wish to pursue alternative therapies afford treatment.
Victory Haven is a non-profit group established by 11-year cancer survivor Naomi Havens.
The group hopes to provide financial assistance to qualified families via membership, donations and fundraisers. It is not a treatment facility.
“We are looking for individuals who believe in what we’re doing and we’re looking for those who need assistance,” said Havens. “We’re not going to be able to help everyone, but we want to be able to provide some assistance and support.”
The idea for Victory Haven came from experiences Havens herself went through.
After her initial diagnosis of breast cancer, Havens felt terrified and in the dark about treatment options.
“At that time I went through surgery not knowing anything else, but I felt in my heart there had to be something else. My daughter was 17 then, and I wanted to live to see her get married and have kids, so I went through with the lumpectomy, then started doing research.”
Over years of studying and speaking with others who have chosen the same path, she found that strict changes in diet, including eating plenty of organic produce and cutting out sugars, as well as stress management and other natural therapies, have helped her to become cancer-free. She has never had Chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
“When I was going through these different things, there was nobody. Hospitals offer cancer support groups, but usually those are for people going the conventional route of Chemo and radiation therapies,” said Havens. “So we do this for information on different avenues that can be used, we try to have doctors available … and we come alongside and do fundraisers to try to help the family.”
Havens explained that patients seeking alternative therapies pay out of pocket for their treatments because most insurance plans do not cover them. The financial burden, she said, is usually beyond most family’s means.
“I’ve had family members and friends who have pursued the alternative but have been limited because of finances – one in particular maxed out her credit cards and then just had to stop natural therapies, which she felt were working for her,” she said.
Havens and her family paid for her to seek out-of-state treatment in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. Between the medical and hotel bills – a usual stay would be about two weeks – Havens said it got quite expensive.
“I don’t feel like it’s right that people should be limited just because of finances, and if they feel in their heart that this is best for them and that this is what God wants them to do, they should be able to pursue it,” Havens added.
For more information on Victory Haven, or to get involved, visit www.victoryhaven.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.