One is living in temporary housing while her home is rebuilt after a hurricane. Another started his service early – volunteering at 17 to help patients from his local hospital – doing shopping and providing transportation to appointments. One gave up celibacy after her diagnosis. Earlier this spring, we trained our newest class of Support Volunteers.
Their experiences are as varied as their personalities. Anthony, who’d had “not as good as they could have been” health habits before his diagnosis learned the value of eating properly and moving his body. His elliptical has become “more than a clothes hanger” and it’s paid off. He’s grateful for the incredible support he received after his diagnosis, often from unexpected places. He appreciated the effort put into supporting patients and now, as a survivor, is committed to finding purpose in his life as a volunteer. His relationship with his wife is stronger, as is his personal faith and belief in “letting go and letting God.”
Sandy was committed to healthy eating and had never smoked a day in her life. Then came a lung cancer diagnosis and all the stigma that accompanies it. Despite having a high tolerance for pain, she found the physical pain of cancer “unbelievable.” Still, she counts herself lucky thanks to an early diagnosis. Like Anthony, she finds joy in the new closeness she and her supportive, “extremely protective” husband have found as they navigate life after treatment.
Deirdre had also been a self-described “health nut” before her diagnosis, alternating between a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle for years. Ironically, that soy-heavy diet exacerbated her estrogen-related cancer. She began eating meat and fish and felt much better. A busy mother and professor, she told herself that “she just didn’t have time for cancer. She had too much to do and too many people who needed her.” That attitude gave her energy and drive as she went through treatment. Her outlook on life changed. Once tense and easily frustrated, she adopted the mantra that, “Every day I’m not on the other side of the soil is a good day.”
As a group, these volunteers have undergone radiation, taken chemotherapy, had a lung resectioned and lost one fifth of a stomach. We are pleased that they have joined the ranks of Cancer Hope Network Support Volunteers.
We are are delighted to introduce:
- Anthony – Bile Duct, Pre; Caregiver (3times)
- Dierdre – Breast, ER/PR+
- Laurie – Cervical Stage 3
- Sandy – Non Small Cell Lung, Stage 1
To connect with one of them – or any of our 400+ trained Support Volunteers, contact our Programs Team – cancerhopenetwork.org/connect or 8777.HOPENET. Click HERE to learn more about becoming a Support Volunteer.