In March of 2010 I registered with an organisation, Imerman Angels, as a Mentor Angel. I met Jonny Imerman first at the YSC conference in Atlanta and was totally bowled over by his zest for life, enthusiasm and passion that no-one should ever be alone following a cancer diagnosis nor feel like they’re the only one with that cancer or at that age.
Jonny’s own journey in started when he was diagnosed at the age of 26 with testicular cancer. He found himself on a ward with men much older than himself and although he knows he was fortunate to have friends and family supporting him, he wanted to meet other young men in his situation. He was also acutely aware of the others in the ward with no visitors. Jonny did an interview for the Voices of Survivors site at www.voicesofsurvivors.org
Jonny set up Imerman Angels (www.imermanangels.org) in 2003, an organisation that introduces each cancer fighter to one survivor (“mentor angel”) of the same age, same gender, and someone who has already beaten that particular type of cancer. That cancer survivor would be an angel – walking, talking, living proof to inspire the fighter that he/she can beat cancer.
As you all know from this website, I spent many many hours seeking others who were diagnosed with Phyllodes and also hoped that they would be the people who were now my walking, talking, living proof that I could beat Phyllodes.
So, when I met Jonny, and felt able, I signed up to be a Mentor Angel. Yesterday, I received an email saying that they’d been contacted by someone newly diagnosed and could I mentor them. I can’t tell you how privileged I felt to receive that email and be a part of someone else’s positive journey to wellness.
Today, we’ve exchanged a number of emails and despite living in different continents, I was able to signpost her to our Facebook ‘Phyllodes Support Group’ and also a few members who lived nearby but mostly to listen, to answer questions and to hold her hand. She, like me a few years ago, said that just knowing there was someone else out there who was further ahead in her journey and understood.
If you’re reading this and could become an Angel, do…