A facility that provides free nonmedical care services to cancer patients in the Toledo area will be soon moving to a larger building.
Come July, the Victory Center will be moving to a building at 3166 N. Republic Blvd., two doors down from its current leased location.
The new space is much larger, according to Dianne Barndt, the center’s executive director. It will house a support-group room, two large activity areas, four private therapy rooms, and an outdoor garden area.
Unlike the leased space the Victory Center currently occupies, the center will own the new facility, she said.
“We cannot be more excited to finally be moving into TVC’s forever home,” Ms. Barndt said. “With this additional space and a layout better suited to our needs, we will be able to offer more concurrent programming, as well as include larger class sizes. Our cancer survivors are going to love it!”
The new building is financed through a $100,000 grant the center received in 2015 from Toledo Community Oncology Program.
There are two individual donations — of $25,000 and $10,000 — to help finance building expenses, moving expenses, closing costs, and inspections among other things, according to the executive director.
The $25,000-donation came from Ross Wood, a TVC board member, and his wife Ruth, who is a cancer survivor. She did not use the center’s services, her husband said.
Mrs. Wood was diagnosed in 2004 with breast cancer and “after a couple of surgeries and chemo, and radiation therapy she went into remission in 2009 and has been cancer-free ever since.
“Every one of the center’s services would have benefited her mind and body every step of her cancer journey,” Mr. Wood said.
“Not a lot of cities have a privately funded center like this,” Mr. Wood said. “There’s no public funding. The center survives [solely] on donations.”
Among other things, the center offers free massage and an opportunity to talk to others in a similar situation.
The one-on-one services are free to people with cancer, as are aqua therapy classes, yoga classes, and spiritual support. And for their families, there are groups who meet to help those caregivers understand what they, themselves, are dealing with.
Begun in the mid-1990s, the Victory Center was originally a part of the Wellness Community, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing emotional support, education, and hope for people with cancer and their loved ones. Although it still maintains the same mission, the Victory Center evolved into its own entity.
Once the center opens at the new location, its services will include oncology massage, reflexology, yoga, nutrition classes, steps exercise, and aromatherapy. The plan also is to expand support-group opportunities, art therapy, exercise classes, and services to children.
To celebrate the grand opening and the center’s 25th anniversary, the center has launched a donation campaign, looking for 25 donors to help raise $50,000 for “providing care, comfort and support, to their neighbors, friends and family who have found support” at the center, Ms. Barndt said.
“I just can’t stress how much [the center] helped me, having to deal with the surgery and the pandemic,” said Robyn Gandy, who has metastasized neuroendocrine cancer. Ms. Gandy, 60, has used the center for nearly two years. In September, she had a surgery that removed part of her liver, she said..
“They offered all their support groups as well as their art-therapy classes and exercise classes online during the pandemic,” Ms. Gandy said. “And to me that was a time when you felt real isolation. And they kept us all connected.”
The general public will be invited to a grand-opening open house in late July.
First Published May 9, 2021, 4:13pm