The 4th Angel Story
When diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1997, Olympic figure skating champion Scott Hamilton identified three angels who helped him. His oncology physician was his first angel; his oncology nurse was his second angel; and his family and friends were the third. What he found missing, however, was a fourth angel someone who had gone through the same experience and who understood what he was feeling. Someone, in short, who had been there.
After defeating his illness, Scott dedicated his life to promoting cancer research and awareness and to enlisting the help of a host of angels to support and comfort patients facing their own battle with cancer. To that end, he launched his CARES Initiative, The Cancer Alliance for Research Education and Survivorship and founded its first survivorship program at The Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center – the 4th Angel Mentoring Program.
A 4th Angel Caregiver Mentor is a caregiver of a cancer survivor trained in peer counseling who serves a mentor to a current caregiver of a cancer patient.
4th Angel Mentoring Program
Learning that you have cancer can be an overwhelming experience one that leaves you frightened, vulnerable and alone. The 4th Angel Mentoring Program offers one-on-one, confidential outreach and support from someone who has successfully made the same journey you are about to begin the journey towards recovery.
This specially trained volunteer and cancer survivor your 4th Angel can offer comfort, reassurance, information, coping techniques and practical advice.
The 4th Angel Caregiver Mentoring Program
Cancer affects the entire family not just the patient. Those who are caring for a seriously ill person have special needs that often go unaddressed. A 4th Angel caregiver mentor uses her/his experiences to help you cope with the difficult caregiver role.
The 4th Angel Caregiver Mentoring Program offers one-on-one, confidential outreach and support from someone who has successfully made the same journey you are about to begin. This specially trained volunteer and caregiver can offer comfort, reassurance, information, coping techniques and practical advice.
How does the Program Work?
Your 4th Angel or Caregiver Mentor, paired as closely as possible with respect to diagnosis, gender and age, understands what you are going through because he or she has traveled that same road. As your mentor and guide, your 4th Angel will call you to share healthful and positive strategies learned from his or her own experience strategies that can help you cope.
When a new patient or care giver requests a mentor, the program staff facilitates a match. The program staff contacts the proper mentor and then the mentor calls the patient to offer support. Anyone with cancer or caring for a person with cancer is eligible to be matched with a mentor.