Cancer Peer Support

Posted in Community Outreach

On August 12th & 13th Jeff and Evy Diamond, the founders of the Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Fund, sponsored the "Introduction to Cancer Peer Support, One-on-One & Group Facilitation" event in Eddy County. (IMAGE) Paula Dooley(foreground) of Artesia practices with trainer Patricia Torn (background), a combined stress management technique of puffing a puff ball while using deep breathing with a pursed lip exhale. (Who said cancer peer support facilitator training couldn't possibly be fun)?

8 people attended cancer peer support training in Carlsbad Aug. 12, Aug 13; including 1 from Artesia, 1 from Roswell and 6 from Carlsbad. Thanks to the New Mexico Department of Health and the Jeff Diamond Law Firm for making this possible. And thank you Marie Monje, Florence Martinez, Lisa Roback, Yvonne Saiz, Evy Diamond, Levi Sanchez, Kim Bunch, and Paula Dooley for making the whole learning and sharing experience a joy. One new cancer support group is being planned for in Carlsbad as a result of the training.

The event provided in-depth training to help those battling cancer. Patricia Torn, with the Cancer Support Now Inc.'s Albuquerque office provided an in-depth training session for cancer survivors and caregivers. The course also helped volunteers develop the competencies and characteristics needed for one-on-one and support group facilitation.

The goals of the course were to:

  • Help volunteers become knowledgeable about & to have a better understanding of cancer peer support facilitation
  • The Physical, psychosocial and emotional effects of cancer
  • Cancer survivor empowerment, problem solving, decision making and self-advocacy

Some of the topics covered were intuitive listening, working with cultural differences, the practice of gratitude and much more.


Cancer Support Now is a community of cancer survivors that focuses on support, information and advocacy for fellow survivors, their loved ones and caregivers. "Some of the folks with our organization have been providing support for 30 years," Torn said, noting that the organization also provides relaxation classes, smoking cessation classes and conferences for cancer survivors. The organization also offers a health line, providing immediate one-on-one support over the phone. The individuals who take calls are trained by Cancer Support Now and are also cancer survivors. "The important thing about this is often times after a cancer experience, either as a caregiver or survivor, people want to give something back. They want to support other people." she concluded. "This seminar is a great opportunity for them to so this in the best way possible."