SUMMIT, NJ – During this unsettling time, Pathways continues to be a beacon of hope for women with breast and all other cancers.  Now it its 26th year, Pathways, through its free support, education and wellness programs, provides healing and empowerment to women with cancer or a history of cancer.  Pathways is one of The Connection’s many programs which create a space for those in our community to remain connected and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pathways is thrilled to announce its newest program slated to begin in November.  Proudly named the Pathways Sister Strong Fitness Program, Pathways is offering an additional way to strengthen the bodies and spirits of women undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment.  Thanks in part to a grant from the Junior League of Summit, the Program will offer 16 total hours of one-on-one fitness training by qualified Connection trainers who are also certified Cancer Exercise Specialists. Each cancer survivor will be able to work with her trainer to create a program that works best for her - whether it includes strength training, cardio, balance training, yoga or any combination of these.  Meditation and Reiki will also be offered to provide soothing relaxation at the end of a session.

Pathways Cooks continues to offer nutritious meals to women undergoing cancer treatment and their families.  Although the pandemic prevents Pathways’ cherished Cooks from preparing and delivering the meals, Pathways has not been deterred.  Pathways Cooks started its fall season by arranging for healthy meals and sides to be delivered each week to women with cancer and their families through Fresh Direct. 

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Women with breast or gynecological cancers are empowered by the Pathways Women’s Cancer Teaching Project which allows them to put a face to the disease of cancer.  Currently done virtually due to COVID-19, these women share their poignant journeys during educational sessions with doctors and students of healthcare in NJ.  The Project enhances patient-centered, humanistic healthcare in a way that textbooks cannot.  The extraordinary feedback from student and doctors inspires the cancer survivors to keep telling their stories, paying it forward to help other survivors.

The Pathways Financial Assistance Fund has not faltered in its commitment to offer direct financial support to women undergoing treatment for any type cancer in critical need of assistance to pay for necessities.  Since the onset of the global pandemic, The Fund has paid over $6,000 in financial assistance to 16 women in need.

Pathways’ Licensed Professional Counselor continues to be available to provide initial counseling to women with cancer to help soothe their anxieties and fears associated with their cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Pathways Team SOS, now named “Pink Lightning”, is a dragon boat team which inspires female cancer survivors to paddle together weekly on a 40-foot dragon boat in a serene lake setting Lake Parsippany.  This floating support group paddles every Monday evening from April through October.  Adhering to government health guidelines, practices continued to be held this season despite the pandemic.

The need to help women with cancer persevere and make meaning of their disease is more critical than ever. Through the help of compassionate donors, Pathways will be able to continue -- as it has for 26 years -- its commitment to serve women with cancer.

For more information about Pathways, call Lesley Andrews at 908-273-4242, ext. 154, or contact lesley.andrews@theconnectiononline.org. To support women with cancer by making a tax-deductible donation, visit  TheConnectionOnline.org, click on 'Donate Now' and select the campaign “Pathways Women’s Cancer Support”.