Michelle Gibson

Michelle Gibson, a licensed clinical social worker with Thadd’s Place.

Thadd’s Place, Grant County’s grief support center, received $24,400 from the Knight Cancer Institute’s Community Partnership Program to expand its services to include cancer patients and their families.

Tirza Shaffer, Thadd’s Place president, told the Eagle that cancer has always been at the forefront for Thadd’s Place.

“Thadd passed away from cancer, and cancer affects such a large population in Grant County,” she said. “Most people you know have been touched in one way or another by cancer so it has been a goal of ours to be able to provide support for anyone faced with a diagnosis or loss from cancer.”

Shaffer said Thadd’s Place’s grant writer, Pastor Michael Harvey, worked to find a grant that would “fit the bill” for Thadd’s Place and serve the county.

She said the Knight Cancer Institute had been a “dream to work with.”

Shaffer said the new program will offer cancer patients and their families 10-week grief support group classes focusing on Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt’s “Understanding Your Grief.” She said in these groups participants will learn healthy ways to walk through their grief.

She said there will also be one-on-one assistance available from trained Thadd’s Place companions. Shaffer said Thadd’s Place has 18 companions trained from Dr. Wolfelts “Companioning the Bereaved.”

Additionally, she said, there will be ongoing peer support groups focused on cancer-related deaths for adults and children.

She said staff are currently working on the programming for the support groups and hope to have their first group operational by the end of August.

Lastly, she said the funding would allow Thadd’s Place to hire a part-time administrative assistant and build new counseling rooms and purchase curriculum books for all participants.



Steven Mitchell is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at steven@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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