Meet Heidi - CanCare Volunteer

As a CanCare volunteer, Heidi never expected the positive impact her work would have, not only on the life of someone in need, but her own life.
When Heidi first joined the CanCare program she was working part-time with a little time on her hands and felt volunteer work as a one-to-one Navigator would be a great way to give back to the community.

“After applying online, I was invited to CanCare’s volunteer training day where I heard more about the program and the experiences or others. I was so impressed with the volunteers who spoke, I felt this was really something I could do,” said Heidi.

Following her training Heidi met Eileen, an elderly patient who had been diagnosed with lung cancer and debilitating emphysema. Despite having a large family, many were living too far away to be able to help.

CanCare Navigator - Heidi

“Battling cancer can be very lonely, and it’s isolating as you don’t have the energy or motivation you normally do and there’s lot to take in both emotionally and physically. Just knowing someone is there who they can talk honestly with and provide support really makes a difference to their lives”

Heidi’s support ranged from home visits and a chat over tea to tidying up, going grocery shopping, helping with meals and picking up prescriptions. "I loved visiting her, she always had a smile on her face and a hand-written shopping list in her hand. Even near the end she still asked me to pick up some glitter nail polish. She had such a cheeky, radiant personality.” said Heidi.

Sadly Eileen lost her battle, and as she had asked, Heidi attended the funeral. During the eulogy Eileen’s son Kevin thanked Heidi as ‘Eileen’s  CanCare angel’ and was most thankful for CanCare’s support during his mother’s illness.

“I do miss her a lot as we had a wonderful friendship but I also feel so lucky to have met her. It was privilege to be a part of her life especially when she needed it most,” says Heidi.

We can’t all volunteer, but we can help in other ways. Your gift will make a real difference to those in need.