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Elmwood Park Cancer Survivor Launches Spiritual Support Group

Ellen DeVogel, back row second from left, and the CancerCompanions group at Van Riper Ellis Broadway Baptist Church in Fair Lawn. Photo Credit: Ellen DeVogel
Pastor David Boone. Photo Credit: Facebook

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J — Ellen DeVogel of Elmwood Park knows firsthand how important cancer support groups are for both those fighting and their caregivers.

Almost eight months after having her thyroid removed in 2015, DeVogel was just regaining her voice back when she decided to bring the idea for one to Pastor David Boone at Van Riper Ellis Broadway Baptist Church.

DeVogel and about 10 other parishioners launched CancerCompanions this month.

"The idea is to reach out to people who have had cancer, have cancer or people who know someone battling and want to speak more effectively with them," said DeVogel, a Wyckoff native.

CancerCompanions attempts to provide a non-medical setting with caring and trained people who will help guests emotionally and spiritually along their journey with cancer.

The group meets at Van Riper Ellis Broadway Baptist Church every first and third Monday at 7 p.m.

"Everywhere I turn I find family members, friends and others whose lives have been affected by cancer," said Boone, whose sister became the first attendee as a caregiver to her brother-in-law.

"I often hear that they just wish they had someone to talk to who understands. "That's what Cancer Companions is — a listening ear, a sensitive support and a caring heart."

The war against cancer still wages on but DeVogel and Boone are hoping that CancerCompanion will provide a sense of comfort and stability to those who need it.

"It's so important to know that support is out there," Boone said.

Email Pastor Boone for more at

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