In 2016, I was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer, Acinic Cell Carcinoma. I chose observation as a means of treatment instead of radiation as advised in a unanimous decision by MD Anderson’s Tumor Board. I was introduced to CanCare when I was invited to attend the Survivor’s Luncheon the following year. I was so impacted during the luncheon that I immediately signed up to be a volunteer and to receive support for myself.

I was matched with someone that also had salivary gland cancer. He was incredibly compassionate as I marked my first year after diagnosis. Our roles reversed when we got sick, and I became a part of his support system. I learned through my journey that my purpose included giving hope to others, so they don’t have to go it alone. And CanCare helps to fulfill that purpose.

The overall experience gained from being a volunteer with CanCare has been special. This experience has allowed me to support two people very close to me - one of my high school classmates and my father. Given our volunteer training, CanCare helped prepare me to provide support to both my father as well as my stepmother as a caregiver.

To anyone thinking about seeking support from CanCare… Don’t hesitate to do it! The blessings you receive supporting someone else are immeasurable. And the support you receive along your own journey is incredibly comforting to know someone else has been through this.

My words to pass along to anyone facing cancer… If you are at the beginning of this journey, please have hope. I firmly believe that struggles do absolutely make us stronger. Because of my cancer journey, I have grown in my faith and know this growth would not have been the same without my cancer journey. It truly has been a gift.