Join a Support Group
Why Join a Support Group?
Alpha-1 Canada has support groups across Canada and you are invited to join. We are always looking for support group members in all provinces and volunteer support group leaders on occasion as well. There are support groups for Alpha-1 patients, caregivers and for parents of Alpha-1-affected children.
Setting up and operating support groups in Canada for people with rare diseases like Alpha-1 has always been a challenge. More common diseases like cancer or diabetes for example, have a larger pool of potential members so creating a group in a town or even part of a town that can meet regularly and in person is a very real possibility. The same cannot always be said in the case of Alpha-1. Any given Alpha may be the only Alpha in town or the only Alpha for miles.
All support groups are made up of people with common interests and experiences. People who have been through, or are going through, similar circumstances can do more than sympathize with each other; they can relate to what each are going through and keep each other from feeling like they are alone. And there are additional benefits of joining a support group; they can be a great place to find practical tips and resources.
This is especially true in the case of rare diseases like Alpha-1 where the sum of all the information the members know is much greater than any one member could possibly know. The support group leader and members together can share information about, medical treatments, nutrition, informed healthcare providers, promising medical research, links to researchers, financial assistance and drug and treatment reimbursement to name a few.
In fact, research indicates that attending support groups can be good for your health. Patients who participate in support groups — in addition to adhering to their medical treatments — report less anxiety and depression and actually live longer than those who do not attend. It is speculated that having the social support of others in the group boosts the immune system by reducing anxiety and psychological stress.
If you are interested please contact us!
Please take this opportunity to support yourself and others and be a part of making a difference not only in your own life but the lives of other Alphas too.