My journey with cancer began in 1998, battling Stage 4 Kidney cancer. After two years of surgery and treatments at MD Anderson, I went into complete remission, a place I've proudly stood for 23 years with only a minor setback in 2020.

In becoming a survivor, I realized early on that others needed to be supported. I heard about CanCare through an MD Anderson talk group and wanted to get involved right away to begin supporting more people looking for hope.

This organization is meaningful to me! CanCare makes every effort to support patients with all types of cancer anywhere in the county. Every initial call is warmly received and welcomed by all patients. I would say most are surprised that someone followed up and actually cared to be there as a cancer survivor, especially during their early stages of decision making or treatment.

There is a special bond between patient to patient and having an honest authentic conversation. The survivor volunteers meet them where they are in their journey and are there to support them.

If you’re thinking about volunteering to support other patients, it’s easier than you may think. It’s empowering to be empathic, a great listener, and offer hope and encouragement in patients’ journeys while they’re making treatment decisions.

To anyone thinking about seeking support from CanCare… Don't hesitate to reach out. We are patients here for newly diagnosed patients to talk to and help you in your journey.

My words to pass along to anyone facing cancer… Life's a Journey, take it Head On! Be your own best advocate when talking to a doctor or medical facility. Be prepared with your questions for the medical team while being respectful. Be involved in treatment decisions, and it's OK to seek second opinions or do more research if you need more information. But don't delay without good reason.