Here is what Alana had to say about being a buddy. Recently Alana helped a woman in need of support.
“My experience being a peer support volunteer is very interesting. You do not know what will happen when the person you call picks up the phone. Luckily for me, my experiences have all been positive. I volunteer because I want to be able to alleviate many of the concerns patients have. They need to know that they can survive this and thrive even if they do not experience complete remission. Cancer does not always have to be a death sentence. If I can, I will offer them sites that they can go to for the medical questions they may have. I hope I am compassionate to their needs. It is important for them to find a new normalcy in their lives and to never forget to find humor, even when they think that is impossible. The peer support program is very valuable because the patients can talk to someone who has been through what they are facing. We all face things in our own way. I tell them this is what I did and still do. I let them know I am still fighting my cancer but that I am living a full and high quality life. I enjoy being a volunteer because it allows me to help people who want to be reassured that they can face what is ahead for them. It is especially rewarding when one can have an ongoing conversation with the patient.”
Photo courtesy of BMT InfoNet, 2009 calendar
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