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SCI Invites Brain Tumor Patients, Caregivers to New Support Group

Published Date:

A new support group for adult brain tumor patients and their caregivers will begin meeting from 6 - 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. The Brain Tumor Support Group is sponsored through the neuro-oncology program at Simmons Cancer Institute (SCI) at Southern Illinois University Medicine.  

The group’s first meeting will be Thursday, February 2, at Memorial Medical Center, 701 N.1st St., Room B149. 

Ali Choucair, MD, professor of neurology at SIU Medicine and director of neuro-oncology at SCI, said there is a need for the group within the community. “The Brain Tumor Support Group will provide a mechanism for learning more about a family member’s condition and how to cope with this illness,” Choucair said.    

Michelle Gates, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, will discuss coping skills. Ashley Kochman, RN, BSN, is the support group facilitator.  

“It is very common for a brain tumor diagnosis to be emotionally difficult for patients and family members alike. By participating in the support group, individuals will have an opportunity to connect with other people here in Springfield who have similar experiences,” Gates said.

“Coping with changes in loved ones is a challenge families and caregivers encounter daily. We hope this group will be a useful vehicle to give patients, caregivers and family members, information and resources,” said Kochman.  
To register for the group, please call Kochman at 217-545-7208.  

According to the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA), the support group will be the only one in Sangamon County. Other downstate groups are located in Decatur, Pekin, Peoria and Urbana.

The mission of Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer care needs through medical education, biomedical research, patient care and community service. 


Directions to Room B149:  Enter the hospital's main entrance. Pass the gift shop and follow the hallway to the left of the silver elevators. When you reach the Admission and Testing area, turn down the hallway to your left. Follow the hallway to the end and turn right. The hallway will open up into a lobby area, and the conference room will be on your right hand side. If you need assistance reaching room B149, please visit the information desk attendants located within the front lobby.

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