Relive the experiences described in the inspiring stories told by people close to the foundation.

Volunteer work, a rewarding experience

My name is Gabrielle. I’m 23 years old and I volunteer for the peer matching telephone service at the Quebec Cancer Foundation. As part of this service, I’m matched with young adults who are supporting a loved one with cancer or in remission. I book an appointment with those I’m assigned to, based on their needs and schedule. Then, I call them and we discuss what they are going through, generally for about an hour.
I decided to volunteer with the peer matching service because I lost my dad to cancer two years ago. It was an extremely sad event for me, but I managed okay. I thought maybe I could help others going through this hardship by sharing some of the ways that helped me be resilient during that time.
As a psychology student, I already have a solid foundation in active listening and an ability to steer the discussion in the right direction. When I’m on a call, I mostly let the person talk, but sometimes I share my own story to break the ice and build trust. Everyone has a different story, but talking with someone who has experienced something similar helps a person to feel less alone and more empowered.
My experience as a volunteer is helping me grow as a person. It’s extremely rewarding. I am motivated by the positive impact my actions have on others. The idea of supporting others by talking and listening to them makes me feel really determined. I have a pretty full schedule, but somehow I manage to balance school, work and my personal life, mostly by being organized. I love what I do, so I’m willing to make sacrifices to meet all my commitments.
Mutual support is a very important value for me. Giving of oneself and of one’s time is extremely gratifying. If you have been affected by cancer and if, like me, you wish to accompany others going through this experience, I encourage you to do so.  There are so many volunteer opportunities. You’re sure to find a place where you’ll feel comfortable and a cause you can believe in. We all have something to offer others. The important thing is to persevere!


If you have been affected by cancer and wish to provide support for someone who is now going through this ordeal, become a volunteer by contacting Susan Bouchard at 1 800 363-0063 or at sbouchard@fqc.qc.ca.

Check out the volunteer profile for telephone peer support to learn if you would make a good candidate.

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