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Cancer survivor starts support group in county

Unless they have been through it, no one really knows what goes through a person’s mind when they are diagnosed with something as life altering as cancer. Beth Rhea understands that all too well, as a cancer survivor herself, which is why she has started a support group for women with cancer called Stronger.

“I originally wanted to do a breast cancer support group but have decided that I will open it up to cancer of all kinds while putting emphasis on breast cancer, as that is what I have experienced,” she said.

Rhea was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. It was discovered early, and her treatment involved a few surgeries.

“I am amazed at the ladies that must endure the whole process of chemo, radiation and surgeries,” she said.

Her journey with cancer led her to do a lot of soul searching. In the beginning, she said her feelings were hurt because she didn’t understand why certain people weren’t reaching out to her during her hard time.

“I understand now that people simply don’t know what to say or do when someone they love is faced with such a battle,” she said.

She eventually came to the conclusion that God used her experience to show her how to help where help was needed. Rhea said there is no breast cancer support group in Franklin County, so she has been going to one in Decatur, which she said has helped her a lot.

“Breast cancer is something no one can fully understand unless they have experienced it,” she said.

Rhea has a breast cancer journal on Facebook called The Mammy Gram that she hopes newly diagnosed people will find useful because she discusses how she felt going through the process and what to expect medically.

Stronger is scheduled to meet once a month at Isbell Methodist on Highway 43 in the Isbell community.

“We will offer a place for women to come for encouragement, prayer and emotional support,” she said. “As our group progresses, we will do community outreach and projects to make people aware of the needs of cancer patients, to raise funds for cancer research and to offer any other help that we are physically able to provide to those facing a cancer journey.”

Contact Rhea at for more information.