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Brain tumor, aneurysm groups provide emotional and educational support

By Chris Langrill, News and Community
August 23, 2019

Whether you’re trying to solve a simple task or undergoing an arduous journey, it never hurts to have a little help from others.

Following that basic tenet, Ben Slee has formed the St. Luke’s Brain Tumor Support Group and the St. Luke’s Brain Aneurysm Support Group. Slee is the manager of the St. Luke’s Neuroscience cranial program.

“Some of these people have very serious diagnoses,” Slee said. “So, it’s important to have a place to connect with other people who have similar diagnoses and get information about the resources that are available out there.”

The brain tumor support group started meeting once a month in October of last year. The aneurysm support group has been meeting monthly since May.

“Dr. Edward Duckworth has been the original thought leader on both of these,” Slee said. “I took the ball and ran with it.”

Catherine Pellizzari, a licensed master social worker, has been co-leading the brain tumor support group, and Amber Cote, an occupational therapist, has been co-leading the brain aneurysm support group.

Both groups have brought in speakers to address assorted issues, from a neuropsychologist who discussed brain recovery to a dietician to a Boise Parks and Recreation representative who talked about recreation therapy.

Slee said he has also referred patients to the Living Through Cancer Support group that meets weekly at St. Luke’s Nampa.

The meetings can be invaluable for patients, but Slee has also found an added benefit.

“These support groups are also really helpful for us here at St. Luke’s, too, because we get feedback about how to best provide patient care,” Slee said.

More information, how to attend

The St. Luke’s Brain Tumor Support Group meets at 6 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month.
Register by emailing brainsupport@slhs.org

The St. Luke’s Brain Aneurysm Support Group meets at 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month.
Register by emailing brainaneurysm@slhs.org

The Living Through Cancer Support Group meet from noon to 1 p.m. every Thursday at St. Luke’s Nampa.

About The Author

Chris Langrill is a writer and copy editor for the St. Luke’s Communications and Marketing department.