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Zav Menia Launches New Patient-to-Patient Support Programme
Zav Menia, a DiCE Associate Member from Israel, is a non-profit organization working to support patients, survivors and their families who are touched by colorectal cancer (CRC). The organization is pleased to announce the launching of its new program allowing ‘experienced’ patients and caregivers to be trained in giving support to newly diagnosed CRC patients and their caregivers on a voluntary basis.
Dealing with Cancer is dealing with existential distress and loneliness. Cancer patients are overwhelmed with strong emotions and frequently report a sense of ‘being transferred to another dimension’. A dimension that no ‘healthy’ person can understand – but one that another cancer patient can. The purpose of the program is to educate CRC patients as Mentors to others who are walking on the same uncharted road and to give them tools for helping others spiritually, mentally and even with basic information regarding the illness, treatments, side effects and options that will help them cope and survive.
The program is supported by Asaf Gazit, a psychologist who is a rectal cancer survivor himself. Asaf is supporting the volunteers by instructing them on different aspects of newly diagnosed patient needs, different coping strategies, expectations and boundaries. The group of volunteers will finish the learning sessions in the beginning of July and will have monthly sessions for sharing dilemmas, ideas, feelings and whatever else is needed.
There are ~3000 newly diagnosed colorectal patients in Israel every year. From now on they will be able to get support, not only from professional staff, but also from other patients who have walked their path, and are now there to ‘hold their hand’ while they are going through their ‘patient journey’.