What we know about friends, family, caregivers, etc. (“Supporters”) of cancer patients, is that it is almost an unwritten rule, a requirement, that Supporters be strong, be brave, and emotionless throughout the battle with cancer. I mean, it is not “their” battle so there is no reason to struggle, right? Wrong. The truth is that the road to recovery is often “harder”, at least emotionally, on Supporters than on the patient but this silent expectation/assumption that because you are not the patient you are somehow above the pain, leaves many Supporters alone. I would have given anything to, just once, have been the person undergoing treatment, I would have done anything as long as it meant my mom were pain-free. And I know I am not alone in this sentiment. The mentality of the Supporters is one of selflessness…what makes Supporters so amazing (there willingness to be there and to struggle and to endure almost as a patient) is slowly and steadily a curse upon the Supporter themselves.
Understanding Supporters will never ask for help, aid, or a shoulder to cry on, we went ahead and built the solution, we have laid the groundwork for what will become the Melanoma Angel Network.
As a 501(c) 3, the Melanoma Angel Network will, at the very least, accomplish two (2) things:
Offer one night where Supporters enjoy the company of people dealing with the same challenges they struggle with on a daily basis. The unspoken bond of being there together will be invaluable. For those who want to talk, the Melanoma Angel Network provides an ear. For those who want to cry, we provide a shoulder to cry on. For those who want to simply put things aside and have a great time, we provide the drinks!
“For one night Supporters can forget about how shitty life can be”
Create a sense of community and an extended network of support. In our day to day lives, vulnerability is often viewed as a weakness, hence many never choose to share their struggles with the outside world. But we (Melanoma Angel Network) have been through it before, we know the feeling, we understand the confusion and we will be here without you having to ask. This newfound community brings more depth and breadth than any resource Supporters could have ever imagined.
To all who suffer watching a loved one struggle with cancer, we say… “We’ve Got You!”