Just like Cost Plus World Market travels the world so you don’t have to, I travel to conferences around the country to find resources for you. Last week I went to West Palm Beach, Florida, for the fourth annual CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) for Cancer conference put on by the Annie Appleseed Project.

Some of the information was interesting and useful, and I found a few new speakers for future conferences. But what was the most profound for me were the “chance” meetings I had with some incredible people.  I want to introduce you to two of them and share with you the extraordinary resources they are creating for anyone touched by cancer.

At 26 years old, Jonny Imerman was diagnosed with testicular cancer and began his journey with the disease.  Throughout his experience, Jonny was lucky enough to have loving support from his family and friends, but he had never met anyone his age who was a cancer survivor.  He wanted to talk to someone just like him, someone who truly understood, and was intimately familiar with his experience.

In short, he was looking for someone who had already beaten the same type of cancer. This was the beginning of Jonny’s vision and in 2003, it became a reality when he founded Imerman Angels, created on the belief that no one should have to deal with cancer alone.

Imerman Angels partners anyone seeking cancer support with someone just like you — a “Mentor Angel.” A Mentor Angel is a cancer survivor or survivor’s caregiver who is the same age, same gender, and most importantly who has healed from the same type of cancer. A Mentor Angel is walking, talking, living proof, and inspiration that cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence.

This service is free and helps anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage level, at any age, living anywhere in the world. At www.immermanangels.org you can sign up to be that walking, talking, living proof to someone else, or to be matched with a mentor yourself.

I also met Jeannine Walston, a brain cancer survivor, and co-founder and Executive Director of EmbodiWorks. With a deep passion to help people affected by cancer, Jeannine’s vision for EmbodiWorks is to provide the highest level of support through integrative cancer care education and advocacy. Her goal is for EmbodiWorks to offer the integrity people with cancer and their loved ones need and deserve. Her personal health care experiences, especially her journey with a brain tumor, enrich her perspective.

The information available on www.embodiworks.org is rich, inspiring, and refreshing. They’re not trying to sell anything. EmbodiWorks is rooted in a desire to transform adversity into opportunity to help others through cancer and create positive change.

Both of these organizations are providing services that I longed for when I was first diagnosed in 1989. Even though I missed them, maybe it’s a good thing they weren’t there or I might not have started Healing Journeys. I’m so glad they are available now, and hope you will find them useful.

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In the spirit of healing,

Jan Adrian's signature

Jan Adrian, MSW

Founder and Executive Director

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