On Wednesday, February 11, the Life Raft Group’s state leaders had their first opportunity to gather virtually and to discuss the best strategies for bringing together and building a support community for patients and caregivers in their local area.

As the reach of the Life Raft Group has expanded, the LRG State Leader program (and the accompanying country leader program) has become increasingly important as a means for GIST patients and caregivers to meet each other and share support and experiences in person. State leaders also provide guidance and become a friendly face for new members. The LRG currently has 39 leaders in 33 states.

Over 25 leaders participated in the meeting by phone and online and had a chance to listen to some to the latest projects the LRG is working on including: presentations on the newly distributed State Leader Handbook, communications initiatives including GIST Awareness Day 2015, and services such as the LRG Patient Registry and Tissue Bank. After the presentations, state leaders had a chance to engage in an interactive discussion with one another where veteran leaders were able to provide their advice to those trying to re-engage or start up groups in their state.

How to become a state leader

For a full list of state and country leaders please visit our Find a Support Group. If you are interested in assisting your state leader or becoming one yourself please contact the LRG to get started.