Circle of Hope Cancer Ministry
"Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen."
The footprints symbolize our history, the steps we have taken to get to where we are today.
We are a faith-based support group of peers walking through a cancer journey together.
To bring peace and comfort to those affected by cancer through God’s love and hope. We become empowered through God’s Word and engage in fellowship with others on this journey.
Circle of Hope Cancer Ministry founders Teresa and Penny met at Orangewood Bible Study Group in 2009. The two cancer survivors formed a quick friendship. Penny, diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, was searching for a local support group that addressed the unique needs of a Stage 4 survivor. When she couldn’t find one, she enlisted Teresa’s help. After their search proved fruitless, they decided to start a support group of their own. Joined by Cathy--another Stage 4 survivor--the three women founded Circle of Help Advanced Breast Cancer.
In time, the Circle of Help Advanced Breast Cancer founders realized the need for a faith-based group rooted in the Bible. That’s when they created a second support group: Circle of Hope Cancer Ministry which supports people with all cancers at all stages. It supports both men and women, both survivors and their caregivers. Based on each person’s unique needs, Circle of Hope Cancer Ministry directs its members to local resources and organizations that will help them on their journey.
Teresa Hill (Stage IIB breast cancer, double mastectomy, no reconstruction, chemotherapy, five years of Femara).
In 2005, I got the call from the doctor at work. I remember leaving the office in tears. All I could hear over and over again was his voice, “You have cancer,” as I drove home crying.
After the shock of hearing those words, I wondered, how do I tell my two boys, only nine and 11 years old? (I was 41 and a single mom at the time). That was the hardest thing I had to do, but I was blessed to find a video written for children to help them know what to expect as I went through this journey.
I had so many decisions to make (lumpectomy or mastectomy, reconstruction or not, chemo or no chemo). I prayed and prayed, my faith grew and grew. Trusting Him was hard to do as I wanted to take control of the situation. I went to my church parish nurse who introduced me to someone who came alongside this journey with me. She was a five month survivor who understood what I was going through and helped me understand that God was there with me through this storm. The Lord led me to the decision to do a double mastectomy (they found more cancer than expected and pre-cancer in the other breast). I also chose not to have reconstruction.
After my healing, I wanted to serve the Lord who walked the walk with me. I knew from other survivors that there was a need for a faith-based support group. Since I couldn’t find one, I started one in February 2009. I learned how important it is to have a home church and bible study. I was directed to give back and serve others.
The biggest thing I’ve learned is that the big c isn’t cancer. The big C is for Christ and He encouraged me while I was going through the little c, cancer. I learned to be humble and accept help from friends and family. I learned to reach out and receive their blessings as they are blessed to serve me. I understand that because I am blessed to help someone else, I feel loved upon.
June 2022 Teresa retired from Circle of Hope Cancer Ministry.