Patient Activities and Support Groups

When cancer becomes a part of your life, it’s more important than ever to hold on to a sense of normalcy. Caring for yourself and finding joy and satisfaction in everyday life is vital to maintaining your emotional and spiritual health. By doing that, you’re helping your body battle your illness.

At City of Hope, we’ve spent over 100 years helping patients fight life-threatening illnesses, and we understand the positive effects of keeping the mind and spirit strong during your cancer journey.

So we provide a wide range of patient activities and support groups to meet a patient’s need for connection and support. Look through the list below: to get more information on any of these or to R.S.V.P. to an upcoming class or event, visit our Supportive Services Calendar.


Healing Arts

Art, music, literature and meditation are all known to lift the human spirit. At our Duarte campus in California, we offer a number of classes and workshops to help restore our patients’ spirits and energy. Among these popular programs are restorative yoga, breathing and meditation, art therapy, music therapy, poetry, journaling, and sexual intimacy and cancer.
  • Breathing and Meditation Class: Relax the body, calm the mind and replenish the soul. Learn simple meditation and breathing techniques to relieve stress and anxiety, enhance health and well-being, and promote a good night’s sleep. No previous experience is required. Patients and caregivers are welcome.
  • Gentle Yoga: Mind, Body and Meditation for Patients and Caregivers. Course includes various hatha yoga postures, development of daily home practice and relaxation techniques, including guided meditation and deep breathing. Also available in Spanish.
  • Discover your Inner Artist: Art therapy can relieve stress and anxiety, enhance relaxation, and improve physical and emotional well-being. Join us, and express yourself through the creative process of art.  Explore drawing, collage, crafts and more. Patients and caregivers are welcome.
  • Massage Therapy: Massage therapy has been shown to relieve stress and anxiety, ease pain, promote a good night’s sleep, and boost confidence and body image. Thirty-minute sessions are provided to patients free of charge. Physician consent and preregistration are required.
  • Hands on Harps Concert Series: Led by internationally acclaimed composer lecturer, author and recording artist Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, who has a multicultural repertoire which covers folk, classical and popular music of many countries. He is well known around the world as the premier harpist of South American music, and shares his talents with City of Hope patients, family members, staff and visitors.  All are welcome.


Educational Classes and Support Groups

In keeping with our patient-centered care philosophy, City of Hope offers several specialized support groups to foster education, networking and empowerment among patients and caregivers who are going through a similar experience.
Our educational classes and support groups include:
  • Caregiver’s Café: A place for caregivers to take time to relax and get to know other caregivers, replenish and restore. Light refreshments are served.
  • CLIMB (Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery): Education and support for children who have parents with cancer.  This six week series uses group discussion, activities, and arts and crafts to teach children coping strategies, how to identify and express their feelings, cancer treatment options and side effects. Parents will learn how to help their children cope with a cancer diagnosis in the family.  Dinner will be served.
  • Couples: Essential Skills for Overcoming the Challenges of Cancer Together: Gain knowledge about specific techniques to enhance open and honest communication.  Learn practical behaviors that will strengthen your relationship.  Practice effective problem solving skills together.  Each group will be interactive and focus on a different topic. 
  • Empowering Young Adults: An education program focused on young adults who have cancer.  Patients (ages 18 to 29) currently going through active treatment are invited to attend a free six-week educational/peer support program to increase their knowledge of treatment related issues, resources and coping skills.  Topics include strategies for symptom management and communication, understanding and managing relationships, independence while undergoing treatment and more.
  • For Your Health: How to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer with Nutrition and Physical Activity: Nutrition and physical activity are the most important modifiable determinants of cancer risk.  Learn how to incorporate good nutrition and physical activity in your life. Sample a healthy, easy to prepare dish that meets cancer prevention guidelines.
  • Leukemia, Lymphoma & Multiple Myeloma Patient Connections: Find strength, support and connect with others. Light refreshments are served.
  • Living with Diabetes: Is an opportunity to meet with others who live and cope with diabetes. Stop by if you would like to share or if you just want to listen!
  • Look Good, Feel Better: Experienced cosmetologists teach women currently undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy how to overcome the appearance-related side effects of treatment. In this free 90-minute workshop, you will learn beauty techniques for skin and nail care, make-up application, use of wigs and hats, and scarf-typing techniques. Plus receive complimentary make-up from leading cosmetic companies (also available in Spanish).
  • Lung Cancer Educational Group: All lung cancer patients and their caregivers are welcome to join in an educational and supportive online environment featuring monthly guest speakers. 
  • Patient and Family Orientation Class: Do not miss out on this essential education for all patients and family members. Learn who to call for answers and assistance, and how to get the most out of your care. Discover the supportive and practical resources available to you including educational classes and financial services.
  • Pediatric Bereavement Support Group: A support group for bereaved parents and siblings. Find support and meaning through connection with others, literature, activities and group discussion. Parents will learn about grief and bereavement, healing and coping strategies, communication and, family support and connect with others experiencing a similar loss. Siblings will learn about grief and bereavement, meet other siblings, identify and explore their feelings, and learn how to embrace memories.
  • Your Roadmap to Care: Do you have a hard time expressing yourself to loved ones or your health care team? Join us and learn communication tips and how to cope.  This workshop also discusses how caregivers can provide meaningful support.

Positive Image CenterSM

The Positive Image Center helps men and women with managing the appearance-related side effects of surgery and cancer treatment. It is a safe, private environment where patients and their families receive individualized compassionate care from professional, licensed cosmetologists. The center also operates a specialty shop with an array of merchandise such as wigs, head-wraps, scarves, radiation creams, cosmetics and skin-care products.

Use These Resources Today

For a complete listing of offerings at the Duarte main campus, in your community or online, visit our Supportive Services Calendar or contact the Biller Patient and Family Resource Center at (626) 218-CARE (2273).