I recently read a quote from a cancer survivor about online support. “”When I stumble, there are so many virtual hands to catch me.” This is the same sentiment that has been expressed about LUNGevity’s Lung Cancer Support Community and the many support groups on Facebook. People impacted by lung cancer can come online and be embraced by others who have walked the same journey and who understand what they may be going thru. There is power in the written word and from receiving support from a group of people. Building a community of support can help you feel less alone in the cancer journey.
But there are times when people need more. For example, newly diagnosed patients and their families often feel overwhelmed with the medical process, uncertainties and fears and they need additional support. Some people are not active social media users. Some people need more than virtual hands to catch them. What they need is a strong hand to hold onto. Those are the people who benefit from the personalized support of LUNGevity’s LifeLine Support Mentor Program.
The program, originating from the Lung Cancer Support Community “Support Buddy Program”, is in its 11th year of helping people. Based on individual needs, LifeLine has supported people online, through email and by telephone. A personalized match is made between a survivor mentor and a patient and they begin their supportive relationship based on commonalities whenever possible, like age range, gender and stage and type of lung cancer.
LifeLine also matches caregivers and family members to other more seasoned caregivers and family members. Oftentimes caregivers and families bear the brunt of the responsibility of caring for their loved ones physical, emotional and financial needs and neglect caring for themselves. Those caring individuals we call co-survivors need support too.
We’ve matched survivors, patients and caregivers from across the country. We’ve matched people at our annual HOPE Summits and we are a resources for many hospitals, clinics and social workers.
Here’s what one support seeker said. “It’s amazing. I never knew anyone with a lung cancer diagnosis, now I’m matched with someone like me who has survived these same treatments. She gives me so much hope.”
If you or someone you know has been impacted by lung cancer and would like to request a LifeLine Support Mentor or if you would like to volunteer to become a LifeLine Mentor, please visit www.lungevity.org/lifeline
If you would like to request our Get Connected brochures and LifeLine cards, please email us at [email protected]
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