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Non Profit of the Week: Circle of Hope: Celebrating Cancer Survivors All Year

| SC Living | May 31, 2018

For many, June conjures visions of weddings and graduations, Father’s Day and mid-year elections. But June is also Cancer Survivor Month. For local nonprofit Circle of Hope, celebrating survivorship is an everyday affair. In February, 2018, the 14-year-old charity opened the doors to Hope’s Haven Cancer Wellness Center in Newhall, California. The Center was created to help those currently fighting, survivors, and their loved ones by offering ancillary and evidence-based healing therapies in the form of lectures, classes and workshops. Visitors will find, free of charge, gentle yoga, oncology massage, sacro cranial therapy, acupuncture, art therapy, hypnotherapy, nutrition, dance & movement, grief recovery, etc. The Center has been a longtime coming.

“It’s been a dream of ours to be able to offer these services to our clients and the community,” said Taylor Kellstrom, Circle of Hope Board president and co-founder of Hope’s Haven. “We plan to grow the program throughout the year by periodically adding new classes and wellness therapies.”

The first step was finding a facility that would accommodate the plan.

“It was a leap of faith,” said executive director and co-founder Pam Ripling. “We found the space and our vision became a reality. The suite has a classroom, a “living room,” reception, administrative and private therapy rooms, storage and comfort space. It’s ideal.”

Hope’s Haven adds a new dimension to the Circle of Hope legacy. Since 2004, the organization has provided emotional, educational, and financial assistance to those uninsured or underinsured individuals with various cancers who live, work or are treated in the Santa Clarita Valley. The Wellness Center expands the scope of people within the SCV cancer community who can benefit. Circle of Hope relies primarily on the generosity of individual and corporate donors, as it does not receive state or federal funding. Those wishing to help can join the organization’s “Inner Circle” for as little as $5 a month by visiting the website: http://circleofhopeinc.org/donate. The charity is also gearing up for its annual “signature” fundraisers, Vine2Wine on August 11 and the Afternoon Tea on October 6, 2018.

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Circle of Hope/Hope’s Haven Cancer Wellness Center is located at 23033 Lyons Avenue, Suite 3 in Newhall. For information on events, sponsorships and upcoming classes, call 661-254-5218 or write info@circleofhopeinc.org.

Circle of Hope Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity whose mission is to provide emotional, educational and financial assistance, along with supportive wellness therapies, to the Santa Clarita Valley cancer community in Northern Los Angeles County of California.

Hero of the Week: Stephanie Ramirez

Stephanie Ramirez joined the Circle of Hope family as a volunteer in 2016 as a member of our “Team Hope” committee. The Team Hope program provides opportunities for local high school students to get on track with a “Live Healthy, Move Daily and Choose Wisely” plan, and offers participants a path to leadership positions within their respective groups. When Stephanie heard about the program, she knew she had to get involved. Her reasons are understandable.

A graduate of Golden Valley High School, Stephanie began pursuing a degree in communications and after two years at College of the Canyons, she enrolled at California State University, Channel Islands. But no sooner did she arrange her schedule and acquire her textbooks than she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Subsequent treatment put her education on hold, and this young 20-something went to work fighting this unexpected and unwanted turn of events. Three years later and cancer-free, Stephanie has just graduated from CSUCI with her degree, to which she added an emphasis on health.

This past year, while working through her senior year, Stephanie volunteered her time with the newly opened Hope’s Haven Cancer Wellness Center and the American Cancer Society. She continues to exemplify what today’s youth should strive to be. She is smart, inquisitive, respectful and generous. She spends many hours every month advocating for cancer patients, and she cannot wait to begin helping others directly, especially those who are treading the unstable ground of survivorship. We are so proud to name Stephanie Ramirez our Hero of the Week!

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