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Cancer survivor Kathy Crum is heartfelt and passionate when she talks about Messiah’s Cancer Companions ministry. After battling cancer two times in her life, she knows firsthand the fear and chaos that a cancer diagnosis brings. She also knows that hope exists, and she wants EVERYONE to know – you don’t have to go through it alone.
 
Cancer Companions Provide Both Spiritual and Practical Support for Cancer Patients and Caregivers
No matter where you are in your cancer journey, Cancer Companions can provide someone to walk beside you in the way that’s most helpful. Messiah’s peer counselors meet with cancer patients and caregivers to provide spiritual support and practical help. The relationship is based on what you need most. Cancer Companions can provide information about topics such as faith, common questions, healing, prayer, stress reduction, relationships, communication & healthy living.
 
Often the peer counselors are simply a listening ear or are able to make meals, drive patients to doctor appointments or provide an opportunity to get out of the house for an afternoon. Here’s a great example:
 
As a peer counselor, one of Kathy’s favorite ways to help is to provide assistance purchasing and styling wigs for people undergoing chemo. As a hair stylist for 22 years, she knows the importance of having a plan to deal with hair loss. 
 
Cancer Companion Peer Counselors Are Dedicated & Trained For Support
Each of Messiah’s peer counselors go through training to prepare them for the Cancer Companions ministry. This loving group of people want nothing more than to help someone through a difficult time. Almost all of our peer counselors have experienced cancer themselves and feel called to pay forward the love and care they received during their journey.
 
Each Person Deals With Cancer In Different Ways
There is no right or wrong way to deal with cancer, however most cancer patients do experience similar issues. That’s where the experience and training of a Cancer Companion Peer Counselor can be a huge benefit. Cancer patients are paired with peer counselors who HAVE experience with a similar type of cancer or are a similar age or in close proximity.
 
Cancer Survivor Celebration
Because so many of Messiah’s peer counselors are cancer survivors, they are knowledgeable about many local resources. At the annual Cancer Survivor Celebration, they invite speakers to share information and celebrate the survivors of this disease. Please join us for the next one in the fall!
 
Connect To Cancer Companions
johnrauh (1)If you are a cancer patient or caregiver, please call the church office at 636.926.9773 or churchoffice@messiahnetwork.org and ask to speak to Pastor Rauh, our Care & Support Coordinator. He will visit with you, provide more information, and help connect you to a peer counselor.
 
Support Cancer Companions 
  • We are always looking for more peer counselors! The training is a one-day course. 
  • Make handmade cards (through the Circles of Care Card Connection team) that Cancer Companions sends to cancer patients in our congregation.
  • Make handmade blankets of any kind (tie flannels are popular) that Cancer Companions will deliver to people receiving treatment in hospitals. They provide much needed warmth and a reminder that someone cares.
  • Provide financial support for ongoing training and supplies.
We don’t want to miss anyone who needs help on their cancer journey. Please help us spread the word about Cancer Companions! Together, we can make a difference.
© 2015 Messiah Lutheran Church
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