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Each year, the lives of thousands of people across the country are saved because someone made the choice to become an organ donor. In April, Allegheny Health Network is honored to celebrate National Donate Life Month and pay tribute to all of those who have bestowed the precious gift of life to another through organ donation. Visit AHNdonate.org to learn more and register to be an organ donor.



Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014


Faith brought mother, daughter through cancer fight

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

By Vicki Rock

Daily American Staff Writer

Lynn and Marcy Shellenberger, a mother and daughter who both survived breast cancer, believe that having strong religious lives helped them through their recovery.

“It certainly helped a great deal,” Lynn said. “I don’t understand how people with no religion in their life manage — even without being ill.”

Marcy echoed her mother’s comments.

“You always hear faith, family friends: That’s what gets you through the journey,” she said. “Faith carries you through. I really feel your belief, your faith, is what will sustain you.”

A new study published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine states that women with breast cancer who feel angry at God or who are disillusioned with their faith are more likely to experience depressive symptoms, lower life satisfaction and worse overall mental health than those who have a positive religious or spiritual outlook.

“Religion is an important coping mechanism for many women dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis, and clinicians may want to respectfully inquire about their patients’ religious beliefs so that they can intervene appropriately to help women at risk,” said Dr. Randy Hebert, medical director of Forbes Hospice, part of West Penn Allegheny Health System.

The study is “Positive and Negative Religious Coping and Well-Being in Women with Breast Cancer.” It enrolled 198 women with early-stage breast cancer and 86 women with later-stage breast cancer. Participants were interviewed when they entered the study and again eight to 12 months later.

To read more, visit the Daily American web site.


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