Two Organizations Offering One-on-One Support for Cancer Fighters

A diagnosis of cancer is the start of a difficult, uncertain time. Decisions have to be made, treatment options weighed, and many people, even those with the strongest support systems, can feel alone, confused, and overwhelmed. We recently learned about two organizations that help connect those who are currently fighting cancer with survivors, who can offer emotional support with the unique perspective of one who has been there. 

Jonny Imerman was in his 20s when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer; despite having close friends and family, Jonny wanted to be able to talk to someone who had been through what he was going through. In 2003 he founded Imerman Angels, a Chicago-based organization that connects those who are fighting cancer with individuals who have experienced a similar situation. “Mentor Angels”, who have survived cancer, agree to be matched up with someone of similar age, gender, and cancer type; they are available to offer emotional support, or just an understanding ear to listen. The service is offered for free to anyone, worldwide, who is struggling with any type of cancer. Please visit their website at www.imermanangels.org to learn more, request help, or become a Mentor Angel.

Caring Connections is a network of more than 1,000 transplant survivors and family members.  Created by BMT Infonet, Caring Connections helps to facilitate one-on-one connections between cancer survivors and those still fighting. Survivors offer emotional support through email, phone calls, and/or visits to patients who have (or are about to) undergone a bone marrow, blood stem cell, or cord blood transplant; and their loved ones. Transplants survivors and caregivers agree to serve as Caring Connections, and when a cancer patient or their loved one requests help, they are connected with someone whose situation is comparable to their own.  If you’d like to participate, please visit them at http://www.bmtinfonet.org/services/support/volunteer.

Sometimes, having someone to listen, someone who truly understands what you are going through, can make a world of difference. Through the compassionate work of Imerman Angels and Caring Connections, that support is available for all who need it.

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