And we’re not the only ones who think so.
The 400+ survivors and caregivers who serve as Support Volunteers at Cancer Hope Network are kind of a big deal. The volunteers who give their time and energy to staff booths (when we’re out in public!), attend conferences (when they’re happening!) and help plan fundraising events (in real life and virtually!) are a big deal.
But it’s not just us who think these incredible men and women should be celebrated. The people they help have a lot to say too.
We recently connected with several CHN clients who have been matched with a caring volunteer. Here’s what we learned.
They give practical advice – “You advised me about things not to do so as to avoid having bad side effects,” recalls Sandy, who recently trained as a volunteer. “I am happy to report I can eat and drink just about anything now. You inspired me to become a volunteer myself. Thank You!”
They’re dedicated – in fact, many of them are making regular calls to check in on the clients they serve. Joyce appreciates “My cancer buddy David from New York takes time out of his schedule to call me weekly.”
They’ve been on this journey – Terry, who plans to become a volunteer herself after reaching her one-year mark was struck by the practical benefits of being matched. “She was kind, sympathetic, informative and direct. All things that I desperately needed after being diagnosed. I then went to appointments somewhat mentally prepared, which helped ease my fear. I found fear to be my biggest enemy and when I worked to keep fear at bay battling cancer seemed somewhat easier.”
They help with more than cancer – For Debra, who didn’t have a support system, her volunteer Laura was a lifeline. “Without her, I wouldn’t be here. I called looking for somebody because I had three months to live. I had a one-an-a-half year old and a three year old. I was in an abusive relationship. Connecting with Laura was the best thing that ever happened to me.” Ten years later, their match has transitioned from a mentor/mentee relationship to genuine friendship. “She couldn’t be any closer to a saint if she tried.”
We don’t claim that all of our volunteers are saints, but this week and every week, we’re incredibly grateful for their courage, their compassion and their willingness to step up. With their help, we’re ensuring that no one needs to face cancer on their own.