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CancerCare Long Island Social Worker Reunites Family

Ten years before calling CancerCare, Abe K was diagnosed with HIV. Abe was ashamed to let anyone know about the disease, so he instead told his large loving extended family that he had lung cancer so they would not be suspicious when he began treatment. Abe also dreaded the idea that an HIV diagnosis would cause his family to estrange themselves from him. Abe felt the best way to handle his situation would be to begin a separation with his family and deal with his medical condition on his own terms.

Ten year later, this past year, in a touch of painful irony Abe was diagnosed with late stage lung cancer. Abe sought help from CancerCare. One of his first requests to his CancerCare social worker was to help him make peace with his family. Abe shared his family tree and history with the social worker.

With a better knowledge of Abe’s family his social worker went to work to identify key family members who meant so much to Abe in the past. They all were supportive and agreed to talk to other family members and friends about Abe’s situation.

At the same time two of Abe’s sons and a past partner entered into counseling sessions with him.

The CancerCare social worker then joined with family members to spearhead a massive family reunion for Abe at his family’s homestead in Virginia.

Due to the gravity of Abe’s cancer he passed on, but not before CancerCare’s compassionate staff was able to bring a positive closure to his new found relationship with his family.

About CancerCare Long Island

CancerCare Long Island is a United Way of Long Island Community partner. Their Syosset, Long Island office was opened in 1978 to ensure that Nassau and Suffolk county residents have full access to all CancerCare services.

CancerCare® is the leading national organization dedicated to providing free, professional support services including counseling, support groups, educational workshops, publications and financial assistance to anyone affected by cancer. All CancerCare services are provided by oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts.