How to Help a
friend in Need? | PEER-to-PEER Resources
A Friend in Need
Dr. Jessie Gruman, Ph.D., president of the
Center for the Advancement of Health in Washington, D.C, gives the
following advice in response to the following question in the April
2007 edition of Consumer Reports on Health:
What's the best thing to do if friends gets terrible
Touch base and let your
friend know you are thinking of them.
Let your friend know you
are their to help if you can, and that you can be called on
but not in a way that creates an obligation for your friend to
Respect that your friend will be preoccupied with dealing
with the illness.
Your goal is to
"support the dignity, autonomy, and privacy of your
What should you NOT say?
Avoid saying that you're
sure that everything will be okay,
which may be taken as minimizing the seriousness of their
Avoid saying "That
it's a blessing in disguise", even if it may turn out that
Avoid telling stories
about people with similar diseases who are now dead,
which can discourage and frighten your friend.
What about practical things?
Yes, and make concrete
offers, such as:
I'd like to bring you dinner next
What day would be good for you?
Designate a family
member as a gatekeeper, so you don't have to ask your
directly while he or she is in distress.
Don't offer to help if
you can't follow through.
Lymphoma Support Network
"(LSN) is a one to one peer support
program that matches lymphoma patients (or caregivers) with
volunteers who have faced a similar type of lymphoma,
treatment or challenge. The Coordinator matches participants
using a nationwide database of volunteers. Whether newly
diagnosed, in treatment, or in remission, people network to
share lymphoma related experiences and support." ~ LRF
& Lymphoma Society
First Connection (Peer-to-Peer) Program
We know what you are going through. Talk to us.
Recognizing the needs of families in the initial phases of diagnosis, the First Connection program brings patients and their caregivers the opportunity to share experiences with someone who has "been through it," and obtain valuable information on Society and community resources available to support them. This unique match gives the new patient or caregiver valuable insight from someone who also has experienced a blood cancer. Patient and volunteers are matched by age, diagnosis and gender when possible.
Peers are trained in basic counseling skills and are armed with local resource materials so that patients and their caregivers need not feel isolated as they begin the process of treatment. Anyone with leukemia or related cancers is eligible to receive a call or visit. There is no charge for this program.
322 8th Avenue, Suite 1402
New York, NY 10001
(888) GILDA-4-U (445-3248)
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