New resource connects fathers who lost their spouses to cancer - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

New resource connects fathers who lost their spouses to cancer

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UNDATED (WJRT) - (06/05/14) - A new resource is connecting fathers who've lost their spouses to cancer.

ABC12's Jamie Ward introduces us to a group working to help these fathers who find themselves struggling to raise their families alone.

When a mother loses her battle to cancer, fathers are often left unprepared to raise their families. They're left to deal with their own grief and their children's grief, but without a lot of resources in the community, they must face the challenges of parenthood alone.

Not anymore.

Bruce Ham knows all about the questions, the struggles and the regrets of losing a wife to cancer.

"Lisa was the foundation. She was the glue that held us all together," he said.

At 39, the mother of three died after a six month battle with colon cancer.

"We spent so much time trying to be positive and trying to fight the disease that we did not spend as much time talking about what life would be like when she was gone," he said.

It's one of the most important conversations Dr. Justin Yopp says a couple in this situation can have.

"And it's so difficult and there are so many obstacles to making that happen, that we see it now as an area that's really ripe for intervention," Yopp said.

That led Dr. Yopp and Dr. Donald Rosenstein to start a first of its kind support group for widowed fathers.

From navigating the challenges of parenting, to moving forward, singlefathersduetocancer. org is a lifeline for dads.

Three years after joining the group, Ham is doing the best he can.

"Life can be beautiful again," he said. 

The group at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is working to get similar support groups set up at major cancer centers across the country.
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