Caregivers need your help.
Our volunteers – survivor and caregiver Support Volunteers, trained Ambassadors of Hope, the interns who join us each semester – help ensure that patients and caregivers facing all types of cancer are connected to a volunteer who will provide support, guidance and hope.
In the past year, Cancer Hope Network has received a growing number of requests from caregivers seeking support as they navigate life with their loved one.
Caregiver volunteers have provided comfort and support to a loved one after diagnosis. For survivors and caregivers, serving as a Support Volunteer is an opportunity to “pay it forward” and find meaning and empowerment as someone whose life has been impacted by cancer.
Each journey is as unique as the cancer experience that inspires it – and there is power in that diversity. Your perspective and experiences, both good and bad, are the building blocks of hope, helping clients navigate treatment and survivorship, reminding them that they are not alone.
Lived experience makes a difference
Caregiving can be rewarding and fulfilling – and utterly exhausting. “Nothing prepares you for these kinds of situations. There’s no dress rehearsal,” says Rodney, a Support Volunteer who cared for his wife Vera during her fight with metastasizing lung cancer.
Caregiver (or cancer survivor) volunteers complete an interview with a member of our Programs Team, fill out a Volunteer Profile and participate in our professionally-approved, proprietary training program. Our training is offered online and, as health protocols allow, in-person.
Training outlines the roles and responsibilities of a Support Volunteer and teaches best practice techniques for working with clients. Ongoing mentor education is provided one-on-one and through Hope Check: Listening and Learning in the CHN Community program.
Making the best of a bad situation
Your experience as a cancer caregiver – balancing appointments and refills, side effects and changing moods, and everything in between – can help.
Sharing your hard-won knowledge as a peer mentor is a chance to help lighten someone else’s load. Your guidance is the light of hope for fellow caregivers travelling dark tunnels.
Our cancer survivor and caregiver volunteers are supported by CHN’s Programs Team of social work and healthcare professionals. The Programs Team follows each match from beginning to end, providing support and oversight through the duration of the connection, checking in after each match visit, ensuring volunteers have the tools and strategies to meet client needs, and connecting volunteers and clients to additional resources, as needed.