To The Victor Goes The Spoils
Since 1996 The Victory Center has reached out to Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan cancer patients and affected families.
The Victory Center, located at 5532 West Central Avenue in Toledo, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission “to provide hope and support to cancer patients, survivors, and those closest to them.”
Dianne Barndt, The Victory Center’s (TVC) executive director for the last seven years, explains, “Toledo had a lot of really good medical care for cancer patients but there was really nothing, no organization looking at the holistic part of a person’s cancer journey. So that’s how the TVC came to be. They wanted somebody who was looking after the psychological, spiritual, social, mental and emotional parts of the cancer journey.”
Staff and volunteers
Dedicated staff, four full-time and two part-time paid employees, reach out to cancer patients and their families. Additionally, “we have 40 plus facilitators, therapists, group leaders, yoga instructors (and others). All TVC support groups are facilitated by professionals,” Barndt said.
One TVC volunteer is Fred Tito, 67, a retired electrical engineer. “I am a two-time survivor (of cancer). A 17-year survivor of pancreatic cancer and a six-year survivor of prostate cancer,” he said. Tito describes TVC as “one of the bright lights of the Toledo area. The Center supports not only cancer survivors, but they also support caregivers. When you’re dealing with cancer, it takes a toll not only on the patient himself/herself, but the family and the spouse. It’s very hard on them.”
Barndt explains, “We have volunteers to do welcome interviews, who work our wig bank and help with our events. We have more than 100 volunteers who do all of the other functions for us, but not necessarily working directly with the clients.”
One popular and welcome service is TVC’s free wig bank. “People can come in and get one free wig per calendar year,” Barndt said. “Those wigs are provided through a partnership with the American Cancer Society. We have mostly survivors, who are trained volunteers, that will help fit the wig. We gave away our 1,000th wig in October, since the Center opened twenty plus years ago.”
Diane Barndt encourages newcomers, “Anybody going through a cancer journey is welcome to come here. It doesn’t matter— young, old, men women, regardless of the cancer diagnosis, this is the place where you will find help and support.”
Since TVC receives no government funding or health insurance reimbursements, the Center is solely supported by foundation grants, special fundraising events and private contributions. All donations are tax deductible.
Free services offered by TVC include:
-Healing touch and Reiki
-An array of
To find out more,
call 419-531-7600 or visit thevictorycenter.org.