Helping Others as a Survivor

Think back to how you felt after hearing the words, “you have cancer.” Most likely, you felt a range of emotions including shock, disbelief, and fear. And, although you may have had friends and family on standby ready to help, you still might have felt alone. Even though they had good intentions, it was probably difficult for those closest to you to understand how you were feeling unless they too, had experienced cancer. What makes you different is that you’re a survivor— one who is uniquely qualified to help cancer patients.

Volunteering: A Gift to Others And to Yourself

Getting through cancer treatment is hard— and even the most independent people need help. Remember the times you received support during your own cancer journey? That was a selfless gift. Now that your cancer battle is over, you can pay that kindness forward by helping others!

Obviously, the help you give will benefit the recipient. But it’s a benefit for you, too! When you were being treated for cancer, you may have stopped working and/or had to rely on others to lighten the load for you during the times when you couldn’t keep up. As a result, you may have begun to doubt your self-worth and question your abilities. Helping others will help you regain your confidence and understand that you have much to offer!

The Ways Cancer Survivors Can Help Cancer Patients are Many

Regardless of whether you’re a “people person” or simply prefer to help out behind the scenes, there are plenty of opportunities you’re sure to find suitable. You might consider: 

  • Working directly with patients and their families to provide aid 
  • Attending a cancer support group that helps patients
  • Participating in some of the online resources, such as Facebook groups or support programs, which are helpful for those who aren’t able to get out
  • Volunteering your time and talents at one of the many nonprofit organizations that exist to raise money for cancer research or patient care 

As a cancer survivor, you have so much to offer. By giving some of your time, you will be making a big impact in the lives of others. Learn more about getting involved by visiting the American Cancer Society website.