Story 40

Survivors helping patients

Volunteers of the Mastectomy Visiting program

Our volunteers and staff are committed to helping cancer patients. Here are 2 great examples of emotional support programs.

Esther Robins, of Alberta, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the 1970s, an experience that pushed her to become a volunteer, visiting other cancer patients to share her story. Inspired by Esther's mentoring and recognition of the need for an emotional support program for people with all types of cancer, the Society launched CanSurmount in 1978. Under the program, cancer survivors and families of patients provided emotional guidance and support in hospitals and homes.

In 1974, the Society launched the Mastectomy Visiting Program (later renamed Reach to Recovery) in Manitoba with volunteers offering information sessions and emotional support for women with breast cancer.

Reach to Recovery volunteers Hazel Quinton and Eliane Eans.

Today, the Society continues to provide support to cancer patients and their families through the CancerConnection.ca online community and the Peer Support Service. Not all cancers are the same, and neither is what you can expect as a patient or caregiver. Read about how to connect with someone who has had a similar cancer journey or how to volunteer, or call 1-888-939-3333.