virtual meeting

Support Groups Gone Virtual

In the midst of a global pandemic that seems only to be digging its heels in further, it’s more important than ever for all of us to stay focused on the positive . . . to look for a silver lining . . . to see the proverbial glass as half-full as opposed to half-empty!

ANAC’s Chapter meetings, the heart and soul of our association, are a place where we can do just that. While it’s hard to beat face-to-face communication setting, we’ve found that by offering our chapter meetings virtually, in response to the nationwide protocols for COVID-19, we’ve been able to reach far more members across Canada.

After considerable research and testing by our Executive Director, Carole Humphries, along with Nick Kucharew, our techy board member, we were ready to hold our first Virtual Group Support Meeting on June 2nd, a belated 17th Anniversary celebration of the Toronto Chapter! We used Pragmatic’s Unified Meetings which is a cost-efficient webcast platform ANAC has used for its board meetings.

For the first meeting, Gavin Donatelli and his mother, Laura, who discovered ANAC after her son’s diagnosis, were able to join us from Winnipeg and Victoria! At the September virtual meeting members joined us from BC to the Maritimes. In addition, the Kitchener/Waterloo and BC Support Groups have used the same platform successfully and expanded their reach.

If you've always wanted to attend an ANAC Chapter meeting, please call Carole Humphries directly at 416-806-5071 or [email protected] This may well be the way of the future for ANAC, even after COVID-19 is but a distant memory, especially if it means we’ll be able to reach out to so many more Canadians who are concerned about their AN diagnosis. Even if you are unable to join by video, you can always join simply by using your telephone.

As always, many thanks to chapter leaders Kathryn Harrod and Linda Steele, Linda Darkes and Helen Horlings in Kitchener/Waterloo, Robyn Smith in Saskatchewan and Evalyn Hrybko and Carolyn Bradfield in British Columbia.

Published: December 2020