By Ukee Washington

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A few years ago, a Philadelphia woman started a cancer support group that has been a blessing during the pandemic because it meets on Zoom. It’s thanks to Lisa Padilla.

When Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer, she got support from “Cancer WHO?” That’s a nonprofit devoted to supporting cancer patients.

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“They had given so much of their time, selflessly,” Lisa said.

'Let's Talk About It': Philadelphia Woman's Zoom Cancer Support Group Helping Many During Pandemic

She wanted to give back, so she worked with Cancer WHO? to start a Wednesday night Zoom support group called Let’s Talk About It.

“This is a space you can vent, cry, scream, laugh, whatever it takes,” Lisa said.

Lisa started the group in 2018. When COVID hit, the Zoom support group was a godsend for people like Noelle Kuhoric of Seaford, Delaware, diagnosed with stage four carcinoma in high school. Now Nicole is 20, studying at the University of Virginia, going through relapse number three.

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Of the group, Noelle said, “People can understand me in ways that healthy ‘normal’ people cannot. I love it because everyone is super open.”

“What better group to have, these people going through the same illness you’re going through?” said John Howe of Northeast Philadelphia. He is fighting stage four melanoma. He says the Zoom group is a safe space for cancer patients.

“Especially days they’re struggling, they’re not feeling good,” John said. “We have people who get on the meetings that are in the hospital, that just got done having treatment that day, that can lay in bed and just join in on the meeting.”

Lisa’s cancer is stage four. She is still going through treatment. Still, she’s there for her adopted family, every Wednesday night.

“I love helping other people,” she said. 

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You can get in touch with the group through Cancer Who? at http://www.cancerwhocares.org or email teamovertime1@gmail.com 

Ukee Washington