TurningPoint helps survivors live full lives

STORY: Mickey Goodman

October 9th, 2014 | Local Salute

Jill Binkley (right), TurningPoint executive director and physical therapist, helps patient Kim Johnson with a strength exercise.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October is a stark reminder that, after diagnosis and treatment, breast cancer remains a beast that needs taming and nurturing. Since 2003, TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation, a nonprofit based in Sandy Springs, has helped more than 2,500 women on the road to normalcy.

“What sets us apart is our com- prehensive care along with our individualized programs coordinated by primary care physical therapists. They include physical and massage therapy, nutrition and lymphedema management,” says Karen Burpo, community outreach director. Referrals for the program come from medical professionals at hospitals and fellow patients.

“When I was referred to TurningPoint, I realized I had about 1 percent of the knowledge I needed,” said Sandy Springs resident Taurus Dotson, a breast cancer survivor. “They got my lymphedema under control and helped with postural issues, legacies of the mastectomy and reconstruction.

“The therapists make you feel comfortable and motivate you,” Dotson says. “No self-pity is allowed. But it’s not just work, work, work. They make it fun.”

The evidence-based program, a partner with the American Cancer Society, is the only one of its kind in the Southeast. Many staff members, including the director, Jill Binkley, and Burpo, are breast cancer survivors, making them sensitive to the special needs of patients.

“Finances are never a barrier to treatment, and health insurance covers some portions,” Burpo says.

For more information, visit www.myturningpoint.org

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