A diagnosis of cancer, or any critical and potentially terminal illness, can make you feel alone and afraid. Getting to know other people who have similar experiences can be helpful. One of the ways you can do this is by joining a support group.

Cancer Support Groups are meeting for people with cancer and those touched by the disease. They can have many benefits. Even though a lot of people receive support from friends and family, the number one reason they join a support group is to be with others with similar cancer experiences. Some research shows that joining a support group improves both quality of life and survival.

There are many support groups in the UK however, here in Fethiye, there isn’t the same support network for sufferers and their family, those grieving for loved ones, and friends and carers.

HOPE (Helping Overcome Painful Emotions)

HOPE - Fethiye's support group
Hope Is A Magical Overcoat – by Adrian Harvey

There are many support groups in the UK however, here in Fethiye, there isn’t the same support network for sufferers and their family, those grieving for loved ones, and friends and carers.

HOPE is a new group set up in Fethiye to provide that network.

The group is open to people who are being treated for cancer (or any critical illness) and those who have completed treatment. Equally important members are family and carers (some who have lost loved ones) who can find it helpful to share thoughts and feelings with others. HOPE is also open to those who may be lucky enough to have never been affected by cancer or any other critical illness, but want to help others.

Macmillan supports more than 900 independent cancer support groups and organisations across the UK so it seemed logical to use their tried and tested guidelines to set up HOPE.

The first thing was to agree the aims of the group and set up a declaration of good practice.

The aim of the HOPE Support Group is:

“To offer emotional and practical support to cancer sufferers and their families and friends. We will do this by understanding their needs and building a support network of people who understand, care and are prepared to listen and, help, provide grief counselling and practical solutions”

Declaration of good practice

We share clear aims and objectives.

We run our activities according to our members’ needs, in a clear and accountable manner.

We welcome everyone equally, and we take steps to be open and accessible.

We support our helpers and volunteers.

We make sure that everyone understands and respects confidentiality.

We listen to each other and respond with sensitivity.

We provide accurate, practical information, but do not give advice or make recommendations.

We ensure that any complementary therapy we offer is carried out professionally.

We support each other through our losses, allowing time and space to talk about fears and grief.

We work in cooperation with professionals.

The first meeting took place in March and from there, the group has taken shape and is becoming established.

There are around 20 core members supporting the development of the group and cancer sufferers who contact them.

The group meets once a month and a number of professional speakers have attended. The Lokman Hekim Esnaf Hospital have also hosted meetings and given presentations.

HOPE - Fethiye's support group
The HOPE meetings take place in the Community Church. The meeting was attended by a local solicitor who talked about Inheritance laws in Turkey.
HOPE - Fethiye's support group
Dr Barış Gürcü and Dr Ali Bigonah gave a presentation at the Esnaf

Yaşam İçin Yarış (Race For Life Turkey) and HOPE

Yaşam İçin Yarış (Race For Life Turkey) takes place every year in Fethiye to raise money for cancer research and treatment. It seems only natural that HOPE should come under the Yaşam İçin Yarış umbrella, which is hosted by FETAV. The two groups now work in partnership, supporting each other in fundraising activities for this very worthy cause.

Further information

For more information and/or to receive or offer help and support, please apply to join the HOPE Facebook Group and come along to one of our meetings. Alternatively you can email HOPE on hopefethiye@gmail.com

For more information about Yaşam İçin Yarış please visit:


Join the Facebook Group

Email: yasamicinyaris@gmail.com

We’d like to leave you with a song written by Adrian Harvey and dedicated to Brian and Helen – Hope Is A Magical Overcoat