I have had the privilege to speak to a number of Rotary Clubs. I was very honoured to learn that over 30 children will be vaccinated against the polio virus.

I have been spreading the word about the Canadian Cancer Society’s CancerConnection program. This is a peer support program for people dealing with cancer and their love ones. I have been a volunteer for CancerConnections since 2010 with a break in 2012 when I was re-diagnosed. I was very fortunate to have an incredible support team especially my family. Although, my family was so supportive, I am very thankful that they have not experienced cancer and that’s where CancerConnections is so valuable. All volunteers have been on their own cancer journey. Someone newly diagnosed is matched to a volunteer that has had a similar cancer experience. Volunteers have walked in the newly diagnosed person’s shoes and can answer many of the questions and concerns one has. The CancerConnections program is also fortunate to have a few caregivers that volunteer because a cancer journey for a caregiver is very different to the person with cancer’s journey.

CancerConnections is confidential. All volunteers participate in a training program. The role of the volunteer is to listen to the person just diagnosed and answer only what is asked. A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming so a volunteer’s role is to answer questions not tell his or her story. The goal of the volunteer is to provide answers so the client can make the best decisions regarding his or her own journey.

CancerConnections is a free peer support program available to all Canadians. You can reach a CancerConnection facilitator at 1-800-822-8664 or you can call 1-888-939-3333 to reach either Cancer Information Services or CancerConnections.

Rotary connects people around the world and in their communities with all the wonderful volunteer work they do. CancerConnections connects people with cancer with someone who can support them through their own journey.