When facing a live-threatening illness, or being a caretaker for some who is facing such an illness, a first step should always be to find information on the problem. Most the associations which deal with life-threatening illnesses have websites with valuable resources. Many also have local offices that can be of help.

There are also many comprehensive medical and health sites on the Internet which may prove helpful. Both sources are listed below.


Alzheimer's Association -

American Cancer Society -

Web - www.cancer.org
Offers information on cancer research, cancer support groups and patient services.

American Diabetes Association -

Email -
Web - www.diabetes.org
Provides educational material and non-medical counseling for diabetics and their families; raises funds for research and sponsored programs.

American Heart Association

Web - www.americanheart.org
Works to reduce disability and death from cardiovascular disease and stroke. Raises funds for research, community programs and education.

American Lung Association of Western Missouri -

Email -
Web -
An informational and educational agency dedicated to the research, treatment and prevention of lung disease.

American Stroke Association -

Arthritis Foundation -

Association for the Blind -

Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks -
Cancer Information Center -

Community Alliance for Compassionate Care
at the End of Life
Email -
Web - www.missouriendoflife.org
Professional and community education on end-of- life issues.

Community Hospices of America,
Southwest Missouri, Inc

1465 E Primrose, Suite A,

Offers special physical, psychological, social and spiritual assistance for terminally ill patients and their families.

Cox Senior Health Center -

Epilepsy Foundation - 1-
Email -
Educates and promotes an understanding of epilepsy.

Muscular Dystrophy Association

Email -
Web - www.mdausa.org/home.html
Provides comprehensive diagnostic examinations via free clinic, counseling, orthopedic aids, physical and occupational therapy and a summer camp.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Ozark Branch
1675 E Seminole, Suite 1,

Emai -
Web - www.nmsskc.org
Services and programs for people with multiple sclerosis and their families.

Ozarks Lupus Chapter
Provides support and information for victims of lupus and their families.

Parkinson's Group of the Ozarks

Email -
Web - www.coxhealth.com
Educates, supports research and improves the quality of life for persons affected by Parkinson's disease.

Service Coordinator for Adult Traumatic
Head Injury

Email -
Provides information, education and resources to adults with head injuries.

Springfield Association for the Blind

Provides a complete library and social and educational resources for the visually impaired.


Adult Congenital Heart Association (www.achaheart.org) - Information about the organization for adults with congenital heart defects, their families and medical professionals. List of support groups plus email to find one in your area.

ALS March of Faces (march-of-faces.org) - Dedicated to raising public awareness of ALS and advocating on issues that will benefit PALS (People with ALS) and their families, through self-empowerment resources.

National Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org) - Provides information about Alzheimer's disease, resources, research advances, publications, and events; includes contact information and links to local AA chapters all over the United States.

Alzheimers Disease Research Center (mayoresearch.mayo.edu/mayo/research/alzheimers_center/) - The Mayo Alzheimer's Disease Research Center is one of 29 Alzheimer's disease research centers across the country designated and funded by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health.

American Cancer Association (www.cancer.org) - Provides information about cancer and the campaign to stamp it out.

American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.org) - Offers the latest information on diabetes and living with the disease. The mission of the American Diabetes Association is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

American Heart Association (www.americanheart.org) - Information and education about heart and stroke disease.

American Liver Foundation (www.liverfoundation.org) - Provides information on liver diseases, as well as advocacy for education, treatment and research funding.

American Stroke Association (www.strokeassociation.org) - American Heart Association division established in 1998 to reduce the impact of stroke. The division's Web-based offerings include prevention and recovery fact sheets for consumers and treatment guidelines for professionals

National Multiple Sclerosis Society (www.nationalmssociety.org)- The latest information about MS diagnosis, treatments, resources for living with MS, society-funded research efforts, library and educational programs.

United Cerebral Palsy (www.ucp.org) - General information about Cerebral Palsy and how it affects people.


Adult Children of Aging Parents

A support group for caregivers of aging family members.

Adult Diabetes Support Group

Web - www.coxhealth.com
A support group for adults with diabetes.

ALS Support Group

Email -
Web - www.alsa-midwest.org
Assists and supports individuals and their families affected by ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease.)

Alzheimer's Association, Southwest Missouri
Email -
Web - www.alz-swmo.org
Supports research into cause, treatment, prevention and cure of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Offers patient and family services, support groups, education and public awareness.

Alzheimer's Support Group

Email -
Web - www.bethesdalivingcenters.org
Provides education and support for caregivers of those with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Arthritis Support Group

Educational and support group for individuals with arthritis.

Before and After or
A support group for those who have had or will receive organ transplants and their families.

Brain Cancer Support Group

Provides education and support to patients with brain cancer or cancer that has progressed to the brain. Family members are welcome.

Breast Cancer Network

Email -
Web: www.stjohns.com
A support group for breast cancer survivors.

Cardiac Discussion Group

A support group for adult cardiac patients and their families.

Caring Hearts Support Group

A family support group for pediatric and adolescent heart patients.

Cancer Care Teleconferences

Provides weekly educational teleconferences for those diagnosed with cancer as well as their family members and friends.

Circle of Friends

Support group for anyone grieving the loss of a loved one.

Compassionate Friends, Greater Ozarks Chapter
Web - www.compassionatefriends.org
A support group for parents, siblings, and grandparents who have experienced the death of a child.

Cox Health Systems
Alzheimer's Support Group

Assists families coping with family members experiencing dementia and Alzheimer's-related problems.

Cox Diabetes Center

Email -
Web - www.coxhealth.com
Provides education and self-management training to those with diabetes and their families.

Family and Friends of People With MS

Provides support for family members and friends of people with multiple sclerosis.

Heart Shockers

A support group for individuals and families of patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

Make Today Count
Email -
Web - www.stjohns.com
Helps those living with cancer and other lifethreatening illnesses.

Missouri Brain Injury Association,
Springfield Chapter

A support group that assists individuals and their families in dealing with brain injuries.

Multiple Sclerosis Support Groups
1675 E Seminole St., Suite I,

Web - www.msmidamerica.org
Several educational and emotional support groups for those with MS and their family members, including People with MS, Women Only, Family and Friends, Friday Group, Bolivar, Tri-Lakes Area and Joplin.

New Hope Share Group or

Email -
Focuses on the needs of women currently in cancer treatment and coping with recovery, reocccurrence issues and survivorship.

Panic and Anxiety Disorder Support Group

Email -
Web - www.namiswmo.com
Provides information, support and coping skills for those with panic and anxiety disorders.

People With MS

Web - www.msmidamerica.org
Support groups for those with multiple sclerosis and their family members.

Prostate Cancer Support Group

Web - www.stjohns.com
Educational and supportive group for those diagnosed with prostate cancer and their families.

Reach Together

Email -
A support group for those who have breast cancer, their family and friends.

Web - www.alz-swmo.org
Helps identify, locate and return individuals who are memory-impaired due to Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder.

SIDS Resources, Inc.

Email -
Web - www.sidsresources.org
Public information, support, education and counseling for families who have lost an infant suddenly and unexpectedly.

Southwest Missouri Brain Injury Association
Support Group

Web - www.biausa.org
Provides information, education, support and socialization for brain injury survivors and their families.

Southwest Missouri Regional Arthritis Center

Web - www.muhealth.org/~arthritis/swrac
Provides information and support and exercise programs to those who have arthritis.

St. John's Mid-America Cancer Center

Web - www.stjohns.com
Offers treatment, education and support to cancer patients.

Suicide Survivors Support Group

Supports family and friends of those who have experienced a death by suicide.

United Ostomy Association, or
Chapter 271

Web - www.uos.org
Supports ostomates and their caregivers.



Missouri Division of Senior Services

Web - www.dss.state.mo.us/da
Provides social services to elderly and disabled adults through a variety of in-home support services and direct and protective services.

Social Security Administration
Email -
Web - www.ssa.gov
Issues cards, assists in filing claims and maintains all records on Social Security.

Southwest Missouri Office on Aging

Email -
Web - www.swmoa.com
Serves the older population by coordinating and funding programs that enhance their quality of life.


National Institutes of Health (NIH) (www.nih.gov) - One of the world's foremost medical research centers, the Federal focal point for health research and the steward of biomedical and behavioral research for the Nation

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (www.nimh.nih.gov) - Provides information for the public and practitioners in the field of mental health.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) (www.nhlbi.nih.gov) - Information for professionals and the general public about heart and vascular diseases, lung diseases, blood diseases and resources, and sleep disorders.

National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (www.niddk.nih.gov) - Conducts and supports research on kidney, urologic, hematologic, digestive, metabolic and endocrine diseases, as well as on diabetes and nutrition.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) (www.ninds.nih.gov) - Research and clinical information on disorders of the brain and nervous system.

National Institute on Aging - NIA (www.nia.nih.gov) - Promotes healthy aging by conducting and supporting biomedical, social, and behavioral research and public education. Topics addressed include: menopause, exercise, alzheimers, and cardiovascular diseases.


HealthWeb (www.healthweb.org) - Links to evaluated information resources selected by librarians and information professionals at academic medical centers in the US Midwest. Selection emphasizes quality information aimed at assisting health care professionals as well as consumers in meeting their health information needs.

InteliHealth (www.intelihealth.com) - Aetna InteliHealth's mission is to empower people with trusted solutions for healthier lives. It accomplishs this by providing credible information from the most trusted sources, including Harvard Medical School and University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.

MEDLINEplus: Interactive Health Tutorials (www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/) - Online tutorials are interactive health education resources from the Patient Education Institute. Using animated graphics each tutorial explains a procedure or condition in easy-to-read language. You can also listen to the tutorial.

WebMD (www.webmd.com) - Comprehensive health resources for consumers, physicians, nurses, and educators. Includes news, chat forums, health quizzes and consumer product updates.

Medscape Health (www.medscape.com) - Medscape Health provides free health information on hundreds of topics. Produced by Medscape, it is a companion site to Medscape.com, the most widely used Web site for doctors and healthcare professionals.

MedTerms.com (www.medterms.com) - Easy to understand explanation of medical terms.

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To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.

- Henry David Thoreau

A quick way to find out more about these or any topics is to go to www.google.com, the premier search engine, and type in the phrase you want to know more about. It will help narrow the search if the phrase is inclosed in quotation marks.