LEWISTON — The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing will host a Volunteer Buddy training session on March 15.

The Cancer Community Centers’ Maine Buddy Program links participants (people living with cancer, their loved ones, or individuals who have lost someone to cancer) with volunteer “Buddies” (people who have had a similar experience) to provide one-to-one peer support.

The program includes skill building and awareness about such things as coping with a major illness, grief and loss, and active listening. The program is open to any adult cancer survivor, family members of a cancer survivor or someone who has lost a loved one to cancer. Participants should be at least six months post-treatment, or one year past losing someone to cancer.

The workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at the Dempsey Center, 29 Lowell St. The training will be facilitated by Jani Darak-Druck, manager of volunteer services for the Cancer Community Center in Portland, and Dempsey Center Assistant Director Mary Dempsey.

Kristen Short, a three-year “Breast Cancer Warrior in Remission” and a Volunteer Buddy, says, “During my cancer treatment, I discovered how comforting and supportive it is to talk with others who have been through their own cancer journeys. Having someone simply listen to my thoughts and concerns with love and sharing their stories and experiences helped me immensely. It brings me joy to be a ‘Buddy’ now and to foster hope by lending my listening ears, my heart and my time to others.”

For more information, or to register for this training, call 795-8250. Space is limited to 20 participants.

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