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Peer support for breast cancer patients

two patients talking

For individuals facing a breast cancer diagnosis, connecting to someone with a similar experience can be a great source of comfort. Our SoulMates program matches breast cancer patients with volunteers who have been through a similar journey.

SoulMates participants can benefit from the insight of a peer mentor who is trained in topics such as listening, problem solving, and confidentiality. These volunteers offer emotional support, practical coping tips, and more. They guide patients to Dana-Farber programs and community resources. Most importantly, they help relieve fears and concerns because they understand what it's like to face cancer.

This program is currently open to women and men of all ages with breast cancer. Volunteers must be out of treatment for at least one year.

Community events

Monthly dinner meetings

SoulMates hosts a community dinner meeting once a month for peers and mentors to meet one another. Many attendees find additional mentors, friends at different stages of treatment, and mutually supportive relationships. After dinner, peers have a speaker program designed to meet their unique survivorship needs. These include health care professionals from within Dana-Farber and the greater Boston community. Peer mentors meet with the SoulMates manager for conversation about their role as program volunteers. Education and training are key to the success of SoulMates.

Annual Gala

An annual gala is held to raise money for the SoulMates program. The first event was held May 5, 2016, at the Meadowbrook School of Weston, with entertainment provided by comedienne Loretta LaRoche. The gala raised $37,000 for the SoulMates program.

Jimmy Fund Walk Team

SoulMates peer mentors host a team to participate in the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk held in September. The walk is an opportunity to raise money for the Jimmy Fund but also to spend time with other peer mentors.

To join the SoulMates program, or volunteer to be a peer mentor, call 617-632-6501.

Listen to a podcast of two women talking about their experiences with the SoulMates program.

Read a first-person account of the SoulMates experience.

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