Please Keep This Candle Going andBecome a Mentor of a Cancer Surviver
Learning that you have cancer can be an overwhelming experience - one that leaves you frightened, vulnerable and alone. The 4th Angel Mentoring Program offers free, one-to-one, confidential outreach and support by matching cancer patients with volunteers who are cancer survivors. The program is telephone-based so connections can be made regardless of where someone lives or receives their medical care. The 4th Angel Program is an innovative approach to patient care that was the brainchild of Olympic skating champion, Scott Hamilton, who was successfully treated for testicular cancer at the Cleveland Clinic in 1997. In appreciation for the outstanding care he received, Scott developed a partnership with the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute - the CARES (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education and Survivorship) Initiative in 1999.
One of the flagships of the CARES Initiative is the 4th Angel Program. 4th Angel Mentors receive specialized training for their work in speaking with patients. A 4th Angel can offer unique comfort and reassurance, allow patients to express their feelings, talk about their fears and ask questions of someone who "has been there".
Fourth Angel: When diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1997, Olympic figure skating champion Scott Hamilton identified three "angels" who helped him in his successful fight. His oncology physician was his first angel; his oncology nurse was his second angel; and his family and friends were his third. What he found missing, however, was a fourth angel—somone who had gone through the same experience and who understood what he was feeling. Someone, in short, who had "been there." After beating his cancer, Scott set up the 4th Angel Mentoring Program.
Patient Mentors: The 4th Angel Program matches patients with a cancer survivor of a similar background and age who can offer advice and support. Anyone with cancer can be brought together with a mentor. Once a match is made, the mentor will then set up a phone or e-mail correspondence with the patient.
Caregiver Mentors: Mentors are also available for anyone caring for a cancer patient. A caregiver mentor is someone who is currently, or was previously, a caregiver for a cancer patient. Mentors call on their life experience to assist others in their journey through cancer. They offer comfort and reassurance to patients and family members, allowing them to express their feelings, talk about their fears, and ask questions of someone who has been in their situation.
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