Pictured left to right are Diane Fisher, Jenni Moran, Denise Poland, and Allison Stults

The first Sunday of June marks National Cancer Survivors Day, a day to celebrate the millions who have fought and continue to fight this relentless disease. In our own community, four remarkable women — Jenni Moran, Allison Stults, Denise Poland, and Diane Poland — demonstrate the power of friendship. Their journeys may have begun with a cancer diagnosis, but they led to a place of incredible support and an enduring bond.

Through the QMG Cancer Connect Support Group, found solace and strength in their shared experiences.

“We hit it off right away,” Moran said. “I have an amazing team to support me in my everyday life, but having friends who have unfortunately gone down that same scary cancer path is beyond necessary. They are invaluable.”

These friendships extend beyond the support group meetings. They celebrate victories, big and small, together. The moments that matter most may seem small but offer significant support.

“I just love the little, normal times we have together — going out to dinner, seeing ‘The Music Man’ at Quincy Community Theater,” Moran said. “Even just sending random messages out of the blue… they always seem to pop up just when I need them.”

They started a Facebook message group titled “Together We Can.” The message chain serves as a constant source of humor, information, and emotional support, especially during the nerve-wracking wait for scan results — a period they all know well and refer to as “scanxiety.”

“Even though we’re going through different stages and types of cancer, we have each other,” said Moran.

Stults echoed that sentiment: “It’s so nice to feel that you can talk to someone who gets it. They won’t judge and they won’t tell you it’s going to be okay because it really may not. Cancer is really lonely, and nobody really gets it, but this group of ladies does. Cancer sucks, so say it.”

Cancer Connect is facilitated by QMG Behavioral Health Therapist Shari Robesky, whom Moran and Stults credit for fostering a welcoming, caring environment.

“I love that we have each other and that the folks in the group ‘get it’ like no one else can. And I absolutely credit Shari with being an amazing facilitator. She is amazing,” Moran said.

Stults added, “These ladies are friends I never knew I needed, and I met them on a journey I wish I never had,” she says, highlighting the unexpected gift of companionship forged in the face of adversity.

Join us on Sunday, June 2, from 1 – 3 p.m. at QMG Cancer Institute, 3301 Broadway St. in Quincy,  for our “Hope Grows Here” event, honoring the strength and resilience of cancer survivors.