The Living With Cancer Program volunteers are part of a weekly, year-round group that provides support to adults and their caregivers who are facing the challenges of living well with advanced cancer.
The Government of Alberta has recognized the invaluable support the Living With Cancer Program volunteers are providing throughout the pandemic. As such, they recognized them with through the Alberta Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition this past June. This program was developed to, ?Honour the everyday heroes who help to make life better across our province.? We certainly support this recognition, and we are lucky to have these heroes on our team.
The Living with Cancer Program, in normal times, provides a consistent opportunity for participants to connect in-person with others and share grief, laughter, and stories.
When COVID-19 struck, life for our program participants changed considerably. Because of the pandemic, many are required to self-isolate and distance themselves from the support network that they so rely on.
Our program volunteers quickly realized they needed to reach out to participants in a new way, and they were eager to help in whatever way they could.
Eleven volunteers now make weekly calls to participants to check in on them. These calls are extremely important to program participants who are living with the stress of cancer, isolation, and managing their risk of contracting COVID-19. Now, more than ever, they depend on the volunteers to reach out and bring the community to them. These calls remind program participants that although they cannot meet as a group, they are not forgotten as individuals.