Cancer survivors themselves, Hometown Heroes head organization that comforts cancer patients

Hometown Heroes

Carol Apinis and Angela Palumbo are board members and volunteers for Yellow Brick Place in Cornersburg

CORNERSBURG, Ohio (WYTV) – We visit Cornersburg for this week’s Hometown Heroes segment to meet two ladies heading an organization that helps cancer patients.

Yellow Brick Place is a non-profit organization that helps people who have been diagnosed with cancer.

The center was the vision of two ladies, Anna Aye and Donna Detwiler. Donna has since passed away but her and her friend Anna’s vision is carried on through dedicated volunteers, like this week’s Hometown Heroes.

Yellow Brick Place board members Carol Apinis and Angela Palumbo know what it’s like to hear those difficult words: “it’s cancer.”

“I am a 21-year stage three breast cancer survivor,” Apinis said.

“I also am a cancer survivor — 39 years and holding,” Palumbo said.

“The first thing we want to do is let people know we understand the journey and we want to support them through it,” Apinis said.

“They don’t have to be isolated on their journey. There are other people who understand and we want this to be a welcoming place for them to come,” Palumbo said.

The ladies hope through their work, they can inspire hope.

Yellow Brick Place provides non-medical care to help people in the midst of the biggest fight of their lives: battling cancer.

“This is our wig room. We have all new wings. They’re free for anyone who’s a cancer survivor who has lost their hair. We also have hats and scarves,” Palumbo said.

In addition to offering wigs, they have volunteer cosmetologists who help with cutting and styling. They also offer makeup consultations.

“Right now, we are the only beauty program for cancer patients in our tri-county area. So, we have gotten very, very busy this past year,” Palumbo said.

Beauty assistance is only a small part of what they offer.

“We have three support groups, we have financial counseling, we have emotional counseling, we have nutritional counseling,” Apinis said.

They also offer a program called “chair yoga.”

“That’s very, very popular and it’s… they want to have fun and they want to exercise but it’s sort of a gentle kind of yoga for them,” Palumbo said.

The center began several years ago and continues to grow thanks to all of the dedicated volunteers, including survivors like Palumbo and Apinis.

“It’s like a job but it’s a good job. I’m retired and I enjoy it. I probably get more out than I put in,” Palumbo said.

“By far, most of our stories have happy endings and so we are just very happy to help somebody go through the journey that we’ve already gone through. To be there for them, to hold their hand, to listen to them and to help them with whatever needs they have,” Apinis said.

If you or someone you know is in need of support through a cancer diagnosis or treatment, contact Yellow Brick Place.

If you’d like to help out, they have a fashion show fundraiser on Sunday, March 8 and are also searching for volunteer massage therapists to offer massages to clients.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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