Women’s only fundraiser keeps program going

When the community was about to lose a very special program called Managing Life with Cancer, due to lack of funding, Ex Nihilo stepped in.

Ex Nihilo Vineyards raised $9,600 at its third annual Titz-Elation, a women’s only cancer fundraising costume party held on Oct. 20.

This unique, fun event is unlike any other to bring women together in a festive atmosphere to support people living with cancer in the Okanagan Valley.

When the community was about to lose a very special program called Managing Life with Cancer, due to lack of funding, Ex Nihilo proprietor Decoa Harder got busy. “After speaking with individuals who had taken the program, we felt committed to do what we could to keep it available in our community,” Harder said.

The program has an annual budget of $5,500.

As Titz-Elation is a woman’s only event, additional funds raised will go to local female cancer patients who have young children. There are moms in the community who suddenly experience additional financial strain, such as childcare, loss of work and travel expenses as they pursue treatments for some very aggressive cancers.

“Our goal is to take a little bit of financial stress away,” Harder said, “so that they can focus on healing and get back to being ‘mom’. We feel every little bit helps.”

“I had a very special aunt who passed away at the age of 48 from cancer,” said Harder, “that had originated as breast cancer. It has been a personal goal to support cancer patients and Titz-Elation is exactly the kind of event my aunt would have loved!”

The night included fabulous food, great wine, music, outrageous costumes, touching personal stories, and much more fun, games and prizes, including a live and silent auction.

Ex Nihilo sent out a huge thank you to all the sponsors who helped make the event a success and a very memorable evening.

They also thanked, “from the bottom of our hearts,” all the ladies who attended the event and who offered their support.

Managing Life With Cancer: Skills to Live By is a course offered to cancer patients and their support persons.

Cancer patients and their families are faced with the task of finding a ‘new normal’ in the face of an illness that can leave them feeling isolated, hopeless and powerless. This program offers practical information, support and a chance to network with others who are also living with the challenges of cancer. After participating in the program, participants and their families often report an increased sense of hopefulness and self-assuredness, accompanied by a decrease in feelings of isolation and anxiety.

The course consists of six or seven sessions. Participants explore a variety of topics related to cancer care and coping such as understanding the mind-body connection; stress-reduction techniques; managing energy; identifying personal strengths and health-enhancing goals and effective ways to communicate about cancer with family, friends and the medical community.

Sessions are facilitated by two counselors, with the assistance of two volunteers skilled in working with patients and their families.