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Cancer Warriors Support Organization Reaches Out In Our Area

GRIFFIN - The Cancer Warriors Support Organization (CWSO) is a non-denominational Christian organization that ministers to and encourages people of all ages and cancer types as they go through the cancer battle. Founded in December of 2008 by Toni Grogan, RN, BSN, CCRN and her son, Turner Grogan, Executive Director, CWSO started as a local organization that reached out to local Warriors in Spalding and surrounding counties. This organization, comprised of a small group of volunteers, quickly spread by word of mouth throughout the state of Georgia.

Founder, Toni Grogan, an RN by career, is a cancer survivor. In 2005, after a routine surgery, Mrs. Grogan was diagnosed with a rare bilateral fallopian tube cancer that would require several rounds of chemotherapy. “I was originally told that I would need 8 rounds of chemotherapy. Of course I was devastated!” said Mrs. Grogan. “Being a nurse, I never dreamed I would be on the receiving end of that kind of news. My dad, Bill Williams, was already battling lymphoma at the time of my diagnosis.” Mrs. Grogan also was informed that she would lose her hair due to the chemo. “Getting through the shock of having cancer and having to begin chemo, the next hurdle was working through the trauma of losing my hair. As a woman, this is devastating. I didn't know at the time, that God was preparing me for the future of Cancer Warriors.” Mrs. Grogan went on to finish chemo in May, after just 3 rounds, and recover at the same time her father was also diagnosed with throat cancer in September of 2005. In February of 2006, her father, William T. Williams, 82, of Milner, Georgia succumbed to his cancer and the effects of radiation.

During this time, people began asking Mrs. Grogan to contact newly diagnosed loved ones and friends. “I began a one person campaign of reaching out to those that were brought to me and began sending them cards and little gifts in the mail to encourage them. I had kept a journal and picture album during my journey and shared my story with others. By 2008 I had over 35-40 people that I corresponded with monthly. As I was beginning to get overwhelmed trying to call, visit, and send cards to all of these, my son Turner, and my husband, Eddie, suggested that I ask volunteers to help. Turner became enthusiastic about getting organized to recruit volunteers--and one thing led to another and Cancer Warriors was formed. My youngest son, Dayton, came up with our name, because as he said, “These people are in a fight for their lives!” said Mrs. Grogan.

Currently, Cancer Warriors ministers to over 450 people, predominately in Spalding and surrounding communities, and scattered over 37 states and 7 countries. Their website, www.thecancerwarriors.org, is found by people online, and current Warriors refer others to this organization. Mrs. Grogan stated that “if the Lord leads them to us, we do not turn anyone away.” Cancer Warriors relies on annual fundraisers and private donations to provide the funds for the inventory that goes in their Battle Gear bags and to provide cards and little gifts that are sent to their Warriors during the year.

“Our Battle Gear bags are a one-time bag of items that are useful and encouraging during treatments,” said Turner Grogan, Executive Director of the CWSO. “We send our newly registered Warriors a t-shirt with our logo, a fleece blanket, a CW bracelet, water bottle, a book of scripture of God’s promises, other items provided by volunteers in the community, as well as cancer resource information for their specific cancer. We also personalize our bags for the children that are registered with us. There is never a charge for any of the services that we provide to our Warriors.” In addition to these bags, Cancer Warriors visits local Warriors, prays with them, calls to check on them between treatments, sends monthly cards, and sends each of them a small Christmas present each year. Volunteers from the local high schools and community are recruited for the fundraisers as well as to wrap Christmas presents, write cards and prepare packages for mailing.

Anyone interested in volunteering can call Mrs. Grogan at 770-362-5356, or to register a friend or loved one as a Cancer Warrior. Anyone wishing to provide funding for a Battle Gear bag (cost is $90 per bag or $45 in part) or a donation of any amount “In Memory Of” or “In Honor Of” a loved one, can make on-line donations at www.thecancerwarriors.org or can send donations to Cancer Warriors, PO Box 509, Orchard Hill, GA 30266.

Mrs. Grogan currently resides in the Griffin area with her husband, Eddie, children, Tyler, Turner, Bailey, Dayton and grand-daughter Daniella.

Submitted 5.18.17