The NCCS Mentorship Program was created to help children with cancer adjust to their treatment, increase their self-confidence, reduce anxiety and offer connection with someone that understands their journey. The program mentors are college students who have received the Beyond the Cure Ambassador Scholarship, and the children they mentor are childhood cancer survivors aged ten to seventeen.
The NCCS works hard to pair cancer patients with young adults who have similar diagnoses and treatment experiences. It helps our young warriors feel seen and understood. Dani, age 16, has been mentored by Kendrie since August of 2019. Both Dani and Kendrie are childhood leukemia survivors and as Kendrie said, “Pediatric cancer is a club that nobody wants to be in, but once you’re in it, you’re in it for life and it’s really nice to have others with you.” Dani agrees that two of the things that make their relationship so special are they both had the same diagnosis and she loves the fact that Kendrie is not just surviving, but thriving.
“I think the overall significance of the program should be advocated immensely! This program has changed my life. It’s not very often that I find and get to build relationships with other pediatric cancer patients and survivors. I have been able to talk about things with Dani that I’ve rarely gotten to share or connect with others about.” –Kendrie, Beyond the Cure scholarship recipient and mentor.
Mentors provide support via phone calls, texts, emails or video chats. Mentors share their knowledge and experience so that mentees can learn from their journey. They offer support and words of encouragement. This experience is so uplifting for our mentees, and we have found the program is extremely beneficial for the mentors as well, building relationships, accountability and leadership skills along the way.