Making a Difference: Local group helps women with cancer

TULSA - It's the kind of day Oma Copeland has become all too familiar with, the day she goes to cancer care in midtown Tulsa for her treatment.

"I've been through extensive radiation," said Oma.  "33 treatments of that."

She's been fighting her breast cancer for 19 months with chemo and radiation.  She even had a double masectomy.

 "Your first instinct is to be like poor me and sit and stare into space," said Oma.  "You can't believe this is happening."

But since her initial diagnosis, Oma has received more support than she ever thought possible from a group of women she had never met.   They call themselves the Soulful Survivors.

 "Once people here know that we survived they know that they should get through it too," said Saundra McClelland, president of Soulful Survivors.  

Saundra has beat cancer twice.  And with the help of eight others helped start Soulful Survivors. A group of women who help other african-american women beat cancer.

They dish out plenty of advice about cancer screenings at health fairs and churches.

But they spend a lot of time helping women like Oma, by holding monthly support group meetings and matching cancer patients with other patients with a similar diagnosis so they can support each other.  

 "So we kind of hold their hand, said Saundra.  "There's nothing better than being with someone who's been through what you've been through who can help you get through."
 
"These are women that know what you're going through, that have walked in your shoes," said Oma.

Oma says her cancer is almost beat.

Because of this group making a difference, she'll soon be the latest, Soulful Survivor.

For more information on the Soulful Survivors call 918-288-6900.

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