Hope Connections for Cancer Support was founded on the knowledge that people affected by cancer who participate in professionally facilitated support groups, educational workshops and mind/body programs can learn vital skills to regain control, reduce feelings of isolation, and restore hope, regardless of the stage of disease. Research has shown that people with cancer who actively participate in their fight for recovery measurably improve the quality of their lives.
Hope Connections was the dream of Bernie and Bonnie Kogod, who lost a daughter to cancer. They started a family foundation in her name, The Michele Susan Kogod Memorial Fund, which provided a $50,000 seed grant to create a cancer support center. In 2004, the Kogods teamed up with Paula Rothenberg, who had just lost her father to cancer, to begin the process of creating a place where people affected by cancer could come together as a community to connect with and support each other.
Incorporated the following year, Hope Connections' first Board of Directors was a group of survivors, caregivers and community members passionate about our mission of helping people with cancer and their loved ones deal with the emotional and physical toll of cancer through participation in free, professionally-facilitated programs of emotional support, education, wellness and hope. This dedicated group of people raised the funds necessary to open and sustain the organization. Today, Hope Connections continues to be governed by an active and committed Board of Directors.
Hope Connections opened in March 2007 in Bethesda, Maryland as The Wellness Community – Greater Washington, DC, and has since had more than 50,000 visits to its home for people affected by cancer to participate in support groups, educational workshops, mind/body classes and community programs. The organization also has a 17-member Medical Advisory Committee, comprised of oncologists and other medical professionals from local hospitals and private practice, who contribute their personal expertise and that of their colleagues through our education programs.
In July 2011, the organization changed its name to Hope Connections for Cancer Support to better communicate the mission - to instill hope in those affected by the disease and to connect them with other cancer survivors going through similar experiences.
Hope Connections' growth - both in scope of services and the number of people it serves - soon resulted in its outgrowing its original facility. It was important, however, that its new venue maintain the feeling of home that participants had come to enjoy. Both the physical and emotional requirements were more than satisfied in April 2013 when Hope Connections moved to the Beaumont House at FASEB, a stone mansion built in the 1920's on beautiful grounds filled with gardens of seasonal flowers and spectacular trees.
As part of its master plan to make its free programs available to more people in need, Hope Connections has expanded its reach into the community. In the fall of 2013, it began providing weekly yoga classes and a bi-monthly allcancer support group at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital's Aquilino Cancer Center in Rockville. In 2014, it started offering similar programs at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center in Olney, Maryland.
Beginning the week of October 3, 2016, we will also begin providing programs at our new Prince George's County facility, located at 8401 Corporate Drive, Suite 100, Landover, MD.
All programs of Hope Connections for Cancer Support are provided free of charge thanks to the support of many individuals, corporate sponsors and foundations. Our programs are available to anyone affected by cancer regardless of their cancer diagnosis, stage of disease, age, economic status, race, religion, sex or where they receive their medical care.