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."
Carolina Breast Friends is ready to help as well. Toward that end, we held a Partner's Forum August 29 where Survivors' spouses and partners had a chance to connect and exchange experiences and support. Topics discussed were 1) The Top Three Things I Have Learned and 2) How My Partner and I Define the Journey... Together.
Next up, we're having our Caregivers and Supporters Thank You Party on October 28 from noon - 2 p.m. at the Pink House. Co-Suvivors, caregivers, and Survivors are all invited to come for food, live music and family fun! Click here to RSVP.
If you are a breast cancer co-Survivor seeking a mentor or are interested in becoming a mentor, contact kbarry@carolinabreastfriends.