How This Journey Started
Journey to be FREE Naturally originated in New Hampshire in 2010 as a free cancer survivorship and healthy lifestyle program to naturally help cancer survivors stay FREE (feel inspired, release stress, eat healthy, exercise) of cancer after active treatment and bridge that transition gap from cancer care to self-care. Catherine Desfosses, a 20+ year cancer survivor, retired paralegal and certified yoga teacher identified a need for a comprehensive cancer support program for the whole family and was committed to provide a solution.
In 2012, Catherine and her husband retired to Asheville, North Carolina, and she brought the Journey to be FREE Naturally program with her. To fulfill her grand vision of opening a brick-and-mortar community cancer support and wellness center to offer support services, education, wellness programs, and sense of community free of charge to all those touched by any type of cancer, she converted the Journey to be FREE Naturally program into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2013.
Over the next few years, Journey to be FREE focused solely on creating a solid organizational foundation to build its infrastructure upon, making strong connections within the community, cultivating relationships with cancer care providers, and forming alliances with local cancer support groups and other cancer-related nonprofit organizations.
Journey to be FREE is a member of a state-wide network of cancer survivorship professionals (NC-CSPAN) delivering cancer-related programs in North Carolina. We are currently a participant of a Duke Endowment Grant through UNC Healthcare and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Our founder is a member of the WNC Cancer Consortium Steering Committee.
Growing forward to bring the best cancer support program in the country to Western North Carolina
The Journey to be FREE team is committed to ensure that we best serve those touched by cancer and be that complementary referral resource for cancer care providers. Therefore, Journey to be FREE made the strategic decision to partner with the national Cancer Support Community to integrate its evidence-based cancer support program into our offerings. As an affiliate, we follow a 35+ year proven model and have the backing of their Research and Training Institute.
Opening the Community Cancer Support & Wellness Connection for families facing cancer
We are committed to open the Community Cancer Support & Wellness Connection which will be a gathering space with a homelike setting, positive uplifting atmosphere, and caring professionals delivering ongoing guidance, support services, educational seminars, wellness programs, healthy lifestyle practices, social activities, and connection to resources in ONE place, free of charge. Individuals and families facing cancer will be surrounded by healing support and can connect with others who understand. Having access to such a space may be the only time people dealing with cancer can feel free and have a sense of normalcy in their life.
Journey to be FREE is a financially independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so monies raised to open this center stay in Western North Carolina to support local individuals and families facing cancer. If you would like to be involved and help us open the doors, please contact us.