UCF has an amazing group of Peer Mentor volunteers who go into the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center to meet with some of our young adult cancer patients. The next few paragraphs are directly from one of our peer mentors, Carmen Elliott. Keep reading to find out what her experience has been like working with UCF and our young adult cancer patients!
“In my most recent volunteer experience with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, I have been blessed in knowing and interacting with several young people who are going through chemotherapy, rehabilitation, and even dying. These are the real faces of cancer: faces that are in pain because teeth are falling out, faces that are laughing at friends’ reactions to missing hair, and faces that are delighted to experience another day of life. Each of these individuals deserves to be treated with respect, not just because they are enduring the effects of cancer, but simply because they are. They are people who have loved ones, who have been hurt, who are triumphing in everyday existence. They have no more and no less worth because of the cancer than they did before it was found. They deserve individual attention and love simply because they chose to wake up this morning.”
“Ulman has allowed me to come into contact with people my own age, which I never would have had the benefit of knowing otherwise. I am continually humbled by how these young adults and their families invite me to such an intimate experience in their lives. We are able to openly discuss their fears, their hopes, and their needs. Being a peer mentor puts me in a unique position to discover a family’s most urgent needs, and put them in touch with the people and agencies that are able to fill those needs. My desire to work with Ulman came from a wish to help other people in a time of need. Throughout this year, I have easily been helped and edified just as much or more than the people I aimed to assist.”