Breast cancer affects not just the person diagnosed, but also her or his partner. This is why we call spouses, partners and close family members "co-Survivors." It is also why we're beginning to expand some program support to co-Survivors, to help them navigate the experience for themselves as well as for the partners to whom their support is so vital.
Toward that end, we recently added Tim Gilland, whose wife is a breast cancer survivor, to our mentoring program. Tim has long been a supporter of Carolina Breast Friends, helping us with numerous projects--most recently putting some "sweat equity" into installing a banner on the grounds of the Pink House. In his role in our mentoring program, he'll be available to provide perspective and support to other co-survivors.
As Tim puts it, "I look forward to the opportunity to help a co-survivor have a voice and find his or her role in this challenging journey. There's not much information on what a spouse or partner should do to help their loved one... or themselves. I had to sort of feel my way through. So If I can help someone else with that, I'm glad to."
We are also holding a Partner's Forum on August 29 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., where Survivors' spouses and partners can connect and exchange experiences and support. Topics for discussion will include 1) The Top Three Things I Have Learned and 2) How My Partner and I Define the Journey... Together.
Click here for information about the Partners Forum.
If you are a breast cancer co-Survivor seeking a mentor or are interested in becoming a mentor, contact kbarry@carolinabreastfriends.