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Cancer Support Community Montana uplifts and strengthens people impacted by cancer by providing support, fostering compassionate communities and breaking down barriers to care.

Cancer Support Community Montana supports and strengthens those affected by cancer through compassionate communities, breaking down care barriers.

How we’re Accomplishing Our Mission

Cancer Support Community Montana is one of over 40 affiliates of CSC and has two thriving chapters located in Bozeman and Missoula where you will find a full range of supportive programs for people with cancer and their loved ones in a comfortable home-like setting. In addition, there are Resource Centers located in small communities across Montana. All programs are offered free of charge. Here you will find support groups, individual counseling, educational workshops, exercise activities, stress management sessions, lectures by experts in the field of oncology, and social gatherings. Services are offered in-person, online and in a hybrid platform – all with laughter, joy, connection and hope.

Our Aspen Story

Our beloved aspen trees are symbolic of our hopes for those affected by cancer. An aspen tree is, by itself, small and fragile. When brought together, aspen trees flourish in groves with one connected root system. This connection symbolizes the strength and unity we hope will flourish among cancer survivors and their loved ones with the assistance of Cancer Support Community Montana.

CSC Montana

(History & Financials)

Cancer Support Community Montana (CSCMT) is a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Bozeman, Montana, and part of the national Cancer Support Community network. Established in 2004, CSCMT has a long history of providing support for those impacted by cancer in Montana. Originally in Bozeman, we acquired a mortgage-free building in 2009, incorporated the For One Another Family Camp in 2013, and established the Garden of Hope in 2015.

In Missoula, our chapter launched in 2020 and started serving individuals affected by cancer in 2022 at the Cold Spring Schoolhouse on Briggs Street.

CSC Montana has a number of Resource Centers throughout the state to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. A Resource Center is a referral center placed in small communities where the small population will not support a full Chapter. All people impacted by cancer can access a calendar listing the virtual programs of CSC Montana as well as some in-person programs that may be offered in each community. 

CSCMT is dedicated to partnering with rural communities across Montana to offer cancer support services close to home.

Our Plans for Growth

(Strategic Plan 2022-2024)

Cancer Support Community Montana (CSC) is at an unprecedented time in our history due to a host of forces and trends that are unfolding generally in health care and specifically in cancer care.

The growing interest in the benefits of psychosocial support, and the emerging acceptance by the medical community to shift its focus from medical care only to a holistic, comprehensive approach that cares for the whole patient and their family has created a significant opportunity for CSC to take a leadership role in transforming cancer experience across Montana.

This transformation is urgently needed as cancer incidence and costs are skyrocketing with the aging of the baby boomer generation combined with population growth.

CSC Montana

(GuideStar Platinum Participant)

Cancer Support Community Montana is a stand-alone, 501c3 non-profit organization located in Bozeman, Montana, and one of 41 chapters of CSC in the United States. CSCMT has a 20 year history as a strong non-profit, and we joined the national Cancer Support Community in 2007.

In Bozeman, we purchased a building with no mortgage in 2009, combined the For One Another Family Camp into our structure in 2013, and built the Garden of Hope in 2015!

In Missoula, the Chapter began development in early 2020 and opened the doors in 2022. This Chapter is located in the Cold Spring Schoolhouse on Briggs Street in Missoula.

CSCMT is proud to be working in partnership with rural communities in Montana cancer support close to home.

Click to view our IRS 990 Reports:

How We Make A Difference

60

Programs Offered

Over 60 programs of support, education and healthy lifestyle classes are offered each month.

$0

Cost to Participate

Every program and service is offered free of charge to youth and adults affected by cancer – but it is not free of cost. Your donation makes this possible.

4

Statewide Retreats

Each year, there are 2 Family Retreats, 1 Men's Retreat, and 1 retreat for women called Mending in the Mountains. These are available only to people in Montana to ensure we serve our community.

700

People Served Annually

People who attend programs at CSCMT have decreased anxiety and depression, improved strength and healing, feel more connected and express increased joy.

Get to know the employees and support group facilitators who serve at Cancer Support Community Montana.

Get to know the employees and support group facilitators who organize programs and serve at Cancer Support Community.

Our Amazing Team

Get to know the employees and support group facilitators who organize programs, develop fundraising efforts, and serve at Cancer Support Community Montana.

Facilitators & Instructors

McKenna Fromm, MSW, SWLC is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Candidate working as a social worker

Vanessa Clark, LCSW, AHPC-SW holds space for those in need as a therapist with Dandelion Counseling

Steve Wellington, LCSW, is the facilitator of Prostate Connection. For 14 years he has been working in a var

Wendy Gwinner, LCSW, OSW-C is the Lead Oncology Social Worker at Bozeman Health Cancer Center. She

Katelyn Armstrong, MS, LCPC, earned her MS in Rehabilitation Mental Health Counseling, and is an Oncology Couns

Amy has worked in the health, fitness and yoga world for almost 30 years. While she has taught many types of e

CSCMT Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees is the heart and soul of the Cancer Support Community Montana.
They meet monthly to assure the Cancer Support Community Montana has a sustainable
business plan with financial oversight and adequate quality assurance measures.

Bozeman Advisory Council

Van Bryan

Committee Volunteer

Steve Sendon

Committee Volunteer 

Bethany Lentz

Committee Volunteer

Michael Flannery

Committee Volunteer

Matt Dean

Committee Volunteer

Judi Haskins

Committee Volunteer

Missoula Advisory Committee

Hailey Kern

Committee Volunteer

Jadi Rae Curtis

Committee Volunteer

Ray Curtis

Committee Volunteer

Hanna Reese

Committee Volunteer

Bozeman Professional Advisory Board

Bozeman Professional
Advisory Board

• Carrie Gaffney, PT
• Hanly Burton, DO
• Jane MacDonald, LCPC
• Jason Skenazy, MD
• Jess Pope, NP
• John Gannon, MD
• Joseph Carver, Spiritual Care
• Kara Schenk, MD
• Katelyn Armstrong, MS, LCPC
• Kelly Keenan
• Kendall Child, FNP-C
• Kendra Harris, PT
• Kim Schellin, BSN, RN
• Mark Hancock, MD

• Noelle Butler, ND
• Polly Knuchel, RN
• Rabbi Chaim Bruk
• Rebecca Kane, NP retired
• Robin Hape, MD
• Taylor Burton, DO
• Tennielle Baker, PA-C
• William Conkright, MD
• Wendy Gwinner, MSW, LCSW
• Cindy Carter, PA
• Courtney Wagner, MD
• Gigi Marino, RN
• Jack Hensold, MD
• Justin Thomas, MD

Missoula Professional Advisory Board

The Professional Advisory Board (PAB) plays an important part in the ongoing success of Cancer Support Community Montana. The PAB is responsible for communicating with the staff and the Board of Trustees on the needs of people with cancer. This advisory group meets twice a year and is an important voice for people with cancer.

NOW RECRUITING - call Cody at (406)317-5077

Missoula Professional Advisory Board

The Professional Advisory Board (PAB) plays an important part in the ongoing success of Cancer Support Community. The PAB is responsible for communicating with the Executive Director, Program Director and the Board of Trustees on the needs of people with cancer. This advisory group meets twice a year and is an important voice for people with cancer.

NOW RECRUITING

Want to be a part of our great work?

Join us in making a difference! Be part of the Cancer Support Community Montana team and contribute to uplifting and strengthening individuals impacted by cancer.

Make a Difference With Your Donation

Cancer Support Community Montana provides all programs and services free of charge and only for people in Montana. Your donation allows your local friends, neighbors, coworkers and family to find support, education and hope all through the
cancer experience.

CLICK AREA FOR DONATION

Contact Info

McKenna Fromm, (MSW, SWLC)

McKenna Fromm, MSW, SWLC is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Candidate working as a social worker at the Bozeman Health Cancer Center and as a group facilitator at Cancer Support Community Montana.

She facilitates Bosom Buddies, Cancer Treatment, and Living with Loss support groups. Outside of these roles, she also serves as the Secretary on the NASW-MT Board of Directors and teaches barre fitness classes at Sōl Barre Studio in Bozeman.

In her spare time, she enjoys taking barre fitness classes, binge watching a Netflix series, traveling around Montana to spend time with her family and friends, and caring for her animals Ruby (cocker spaniel), Willie (cat), and Draco (tortoise).

Contact Info

Vanessa Clark, (LCSW, AHPC-SW)

Vanessa Clark, LCSW, AHPC-SW holds space for those in need as a therapist with Dandelion Counseling, as well as leads groups for CSC Montana. A fifth-generation Montanan, Vanessa received her BA from Carroll College and MSW from the University of North Dakota before gaining years of experience in gerontology, hospice and palliative care, and medical illness.

Vanessa loves to spend her free time doing laundry and chasing around her three little wild women.

Contact Info

Steve Wellington, (LCSW)

Steve Wellington, LCSW, is the facilitator of Prostate Connection. For 14 years he has been working in a variety of therapeutic, medical and educational settings to provide the care that individuals need to work through life’s difficult moments.

With a strong background in medical social work, Steve provides healthcare counseling for those affected by chronic pain, long term illness and disease, new medical diagnosis, sleep disorders, grief/loss, anxiety, and depression.

Contact Info

Wendy Gwinner, (LSCW, OSW-C)

Wendy Gwinner, LCSW, OSW-C is the Lead Oncology Social Worker at Bozeman Health Cancer Center. She holds a Master’s of Social Work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with advanced certification in oncology social work.

She leads our GYN Cancer Support Group, Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy, and many other educational offerings throughout the year. She currently serves on our Bozeman Board of Directors and Professional Advisory Board. Wendy can be seen about Bozeman running (with her dog pulling).

Contact Info

Katelyn Armstrong, (MS, LCPC)

Katelyn Armstrong, MS, LCPC, earned her MS in Rehabilitation Mental Health Counseling, and is an Oncology Counselor at Bozeman Health Cancer Center. She is excited to be a facilitator of groups at Cancer Support community.

In her free time, Katelyn loves connecting with nature, fishing and floating any of Montana’s rivers, and traveling. Katelyn lives with her husband, Dan, three cats, two dogs and herds of elk and deer.

Contact Info

Amy Strom

Amy has worked in the health, fitness and yoga world for almost 30 years. While she has taught many types of exercise classes and worked as a personal trainer, she found her true passion teaching yoga and is a 500 hour certified yoga instructor. She is also an American Clinical Exercise Specialist Health and Fitness Trainer with special certification for Exercise during cancer. Amy began teaching at CSCMT over 5 years ago and famously says ‘take anything else away from me, but not my CSC community!”

She currently teaches functional strength training, gentle yoga and yoga nidra. She loves to hike with her friends and is so grateful for her wonderful husband, Pete, her son Charlie and daughter Addison.

Contact Info

Bozeman (Office)

Chat with us

Reach out to us at info@cancersupportmontana.org

Our office

102 S. 11th Ave.
Bozeman, MT 59715

Call us

Ring us on (406) 582-1600

Missoula (Office)

Chat with us

Reach out to us at missoula@cancersupportmontana.org

Our office

2625 Briggs St / P.O. Box 5456 Missoula, MT 59806

Call us

Ring us on (406) 317-5077

Share with Us

Ideas & Feedback

If you have ideas or feedback for Cancer Support Community Montana, let us know by submitting the contact form or by calling Becky Franks, CEO at (406) 582-1600 or becky@cancersupportmontana.org.

Share Your Experience
Encourage others in their personal journey with cancer by sharing your experience with the Cancer Support Community Montana. If you would like to share your testimonial, anonymous or named, please share your story using the contact form or by emailing info@cancersupportmontana.org.

We’d love to hear from you

Contact us regarding any concerns or inquiries.

Chris Darnell

Chief Executive Officer

Chris comes to us with more than 25 years of experience in healthcare and non-profit leadership. A native of Virginia, Darnell began his career in Charleston at the Medical University of South Carolina where he completed a post-graduate administrative fellowship and subsequently held several progressive positions. He then moved to East Cooper Medical Center and lead strategic planning and business development. Chris more recently served as the hospital administrator for Big Sky Medical Center. He holds a bachelor’s in economics, a master’s in health sciences, and a doctorate degree in health administration. He and his family live in Bozeman, MT.

Jasmine Surina

Development Director Bozeman

Jasmine started as a volunteer in 2021 then joined the staff at Cancer Support Community Montana after falling in love with the organization’s work. With a personal mission of serving others and giving back to local communities she now serves as the Development Director and loves working to help those impacted by cancer.

Jasmine is currently studying to get her Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration at Montana State University Billings. She is also the Vice President of Public Relations for the Bozeman Rotaract Club. When not in the office you can find her reading a good book, hammocking, and soaking up the sun with her husband, friends and corgi Rusty.

Contact Info

Lexie Carbo

Program Coordinator (Bozeman)

Lexie Carbo received her B.S. in Community Health and minor in Business Administration from Montana State University. During her senior year she served as an intern for Cancer Support Community Montana, and has joined the team as the Program Coordinator.

Lexie is dedicated to establishing healthy relationships and being a resource for those impacted by cancer. Originally from Northwest Montana, Lexie has developed a profound appreciation for the outdoors, including skiing, hiking, and a strong sense of community.

Contact Info

Drew Walton

Programs Coordinator (Missoula)

Drew Walton is originally from Seattle and moved to Missoula in 2017 to attend the University of Montana, she graduated in 2021 with a bachelors degree in Communication. Drew is so excited to be apart of the CSCMT team as the Program Coordinator. Outside of work Drew likes to run, read, and paint.

Contact Info

Cody Meyer, (MSW, SWLC)

Clinical Director of Programs

Cody earned his Master’s in Social Work from Walla Walla University, and a BA in Psychology from the University of Montana. In the past years he has worked with children and families to provide interventions to combat generational poverty and help parents/guardians raise healthy, resilient children.

He is excited to bring his passion for families and begin to support families in this organization. He has a father who is a melanoma survivor and is so excited to work with couples, families, and children who have been affected by cancer.

Contact Info

Mari Youngquist

Associate Director of Programs

Mari earned her B.S. in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse, where she conducted research in Nature-Based Therapy and Ecopsychology. With experience in non-profit program management, her passion for building community through shared experience, connection, and learning, brought her to the role of Associate Director of Programs at CSCMT.

Apart from her work at CSC, Mari spends as much time as she can adventuring in the mountains. Skiing, biking, climbing, and simply savoring Montana’s beauty bring her joy in abundance!

MacKenzie Wickersham

Development Manager (Bozeman)

Mackenzie Wickersham graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in Community Health. She moved to Montana after graduation and is excited to be involved in the Bozeman Community, specifically helping those affected by cancer.

In her free time Mackenzie enjoys skiing, hiking, golfing, cooking, and spending quality time with her fiancé and English Cocker Spaniel.

Contact Info

Sophia French

Development Manager (Missoula)

Before joining Cancer Support Community Montana, Sophia worked in the outdoor recreation industry upon graduating high school. She has a lifelong passion for nonprofit work and is thrilled to assist in bettering the lives of Montanans affected by cancer.

Sophia grew up in northwest Montana and has called Missoula “home base” since 2018. She is a NOLS alumni and a Wilderness First Responder.
Shaped by the landscape and culture, she enjoys frolicking around the mountains, jumping in lakes, trying new hobbies, volunteering, and riding bikes with her friends and family.

Contact Info

Kelly Phillips

Cancer Support Navigator

Kelly is beyond excited to join the CSCMT team as the Cancer Support Navigator. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Oklahoma, but also deeply values organizational administration. Kelly is a lifelong learner with a heart for helping others who face challenges.

She has a deep appreciation of nature and travel, always exploring the places she lands. She is a lover of coffee, all animals big and small, connecting with fellow humans and fostering kindness. Kelly lives just outside Bozeman with her two cats.

Cassidy Catron

Development Coordinator

Cassidy Catron received bachelor’s degrees in Community Health and Microbiology from Montana State University. During the fall of her senior year she served as an intern for Cancer Support Community Montana. She has now chosen to join our team as the Operations Assistant. Cassidy is Originally from Belgrade Montana, and has developed a profound appreciation for the Gallatin Valley community over the course of her lifetime.

She is excited to be able to contribute to her community through her work and to support those affected by Cancer. When she is not at work, Cassidy enjoys both playing and coaching volleyball, fishing, paddleboarding, floating the local rivers, and working on her cooking skills.

OUR FAQ’S

Coping with cancer can be complex, but you're not alone. Explore our FAQs for guidance and support.

Frequently Asked Questions (Cancer)

Breast Cancer: Affects breast tissue, common in women but can occur in men.
Lung Cancer: Arises from lung cells, often due to smoking but can affect non-smokers.
Colorectal Cancer: Develops in the colon or rectum from precancerous polyps.
Prostate Cancer: Affects the prostate gland, common in older men.
Skin Cancer: Primarily caused by UV radiation exposure.
Bladder Cancer: Develops in the bladder, often with blood in urine.
Melanoma: Originates in skin pigment cells.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: Affects the lymphatic system.
Leukemia: Rapid production of abnormal white blood cells.
Thyroid Cancer: Affects the thyroid gland in the neck.

Surgery: Removes cancerous tumors or tissues, typically for localized cancers.
Chemotherapy: Uses drugs to kill or inhibit cancer cells’ growth, often combined with other treatments.
Radiation Therapy: Destroys cancer cells using high-energy rays, delivered externally or internally.
Immunotherapy: Boosts the immune system to fight cancer, targeting specific molecules.
Targeted Therapy: Interferes with specific cancer cell abnormalities to halt growth.
Hormone Therapy: Blocks hormones fueling hormone-sensitive cancers like breast and prostate cancer.
Stem Cell Transplant: Replaces diseased bone marrow with healthy stem cells to produce healthy blood cells.
Precision Medicine: Tailors treatment based on cancer genetics for more effective therapies.
Palliative Care: Focuses on symptom relief and improving quality of life for advanced cancer patients.

During your initial consultation, your healthcare team will discuss your diagnosis, treatment options, and develop a personalized plan. Treatment sessions may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery, occurring at varying intervals. Expect potential side effects like fatigue, nausea, and changes in appetite, managed with supportive care. Follow-up visits are crucial for monitoring progress and addressing concerns. Seek emotional support from loved ones or professionals, and remember to maintain a healthy diet and pace yourself to manage fatigue. Build a supportive network and stay hopeful throughout your cancer treatment journey.

Cancer diagnosis involves reviewing medical history, conducting a physical exam, and ordering tests such as imaging, biopsies, and blood tests. Additional procedures like endoscopy or mammography may be needed. Once cancer is confirmed, staging helps guide treatment decisions, often with input from a multidisciplinary team of specialists.

It’s important to note that having one or more risk factors doesn’t mean you’ll definitely develop cancer. Likewise, many people who develop cancer may not have any known risk factors. Leading a healthy lifestyle, undergoing recommended screenings, and staying informed about your health can help reduce your overall cancer risk.

If you have concerns about your cancer risk or need support in managing your health, consult with a healthcare professional or reach out to cancer support organizations for guidance and resources.

Remember, everyone’s cancer experience is unique, so it’s essential to listen to your body and adjust your lifestyle habits accordingly. Be patient and kind to yourself as you navigate through treatment and recovery. If you have specific concerns or questions about maintaining a healthy lifestyle during or after cancer treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare team or cancer support organizations for guidance and support.

Frequently Asked Questions (Support)

Answer: Cancer Support Community Montana is a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive psychological and social support to people with cancer and their families. Our services include support groups, educational workshops, mind/body programs, exercise and stress management programs, nutrition management, and networking/social activities.

Anyone and everyone impacted by cancer in Montana is welcome in our community. Many of our participants are individuals with cancer who desire to improve the quality of their lives and be an active partner along with their physicians and healthcare team. Men and women of all ages and all types of cancer diagnoses are welcome. People who have had cancer in the past and have completed medical treatments also attend to maintain their health while focusing on survivorship issues. Family, friends and support persons are also welcome. No referral is needed to participate in our programs and services.

Yes! We have specific groups designated for family and friends of a person with cancer. Individuals can come and share their experiences, learn ways to effectively support the person with cancer, and also learn how to take care of themselves during the process. We offer the support person an array of support groups, educational workshops and stress management programs.

Absolutely nothing! All programs and services offered at Cancer Support Community Montana are FREE OF CHARGE. Cancer Support Community Montana is a not-for-profit organization supported by community-minded individuals and businesses, charitable foundations and special fundraising events.

We invite you to attend one of our New Participant Orientation meetings to learn more about the programs and services we offer. Please refer to our program calendar for exact dates and times. If you can’t find a session that works for you, one-on-one orientation sessions are available by appointment – just give us a call at 406.582.1600!

Participants at Cancer Support Community Montana are able to choose the programs/services that they feel most comfortable with and that will help to improve their own well-being. Participants are never asked to participate in any program that they are not comfortable with. Some may choose to simply visit Cancer Support Community Montana rather than be alone.

No. Cancer Support Community Montana does not have a medical staff. Individuals seek their own medical treatment as they deem necessary.

No. The program is meant to support the treatment prescribed by the patient’s healthcare team and is not a substitute for conventional medical care. While the medical profession fights cancer on the physical front, Cancer Support Community Montana helps people with cancer learn techniques to help them fight on the psychosocial front.

Frequently Asked Questions (Participant)

Answer: Volunteering is a great way to give back or pay it forward in a meaningful way and have a real impact on the lives of others. And you’ll reap many personal benefits:

Knowing you’re helping to improve the lives of those impacted by cancer
Building connections with people who share your interests or expanding your professional network
Strengthening relationships with others through collaborative activities
Developing valuable skills
Fulfilling service hours
Improving your overall happiness, lowering your stress levels and increasing self-confidence (Seriously! Studies confirm it.)
Experiencing a sense of purpose and fulfillment
And more!

Answer: Volunteer as much and as often as you’d like! Some roles require a regular commitment (such as Front Desk Receptionist) while other roles are as-needed or one-time (such as event volunteering or landscape maintenance). We’ll work with your schedule to find a role that works for you.

Answer: At CSCMT, we want our members to take care of themselves, first and foremost, before assisting others. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. We address the question of volunteering while being a participant on a case-by-case basis to assure that your needs are being met first as a participant and secondly as a volunteer.

Answer: Please do! Volunteering is a great experience to share with your friends, colleagues, or civic groups. To learn more about group volunteering please contact CSCMT.

Still have questions?

Still have question in mind? Please get in touch with our support team or write us an email.