Frequently Asked Questions about the Chemo Angels program
How do cancer patients hear about the Chemo Angels program?
People with cancer hear about us in a variety of ways - from their oncologist, treatment center, chemo nurses, or hospital, but also from friends or relatives. Some are referred by the American Cancer Society. Some have read about us in a magazine or newspaper.
Do you assign volunteers to recipients who live in the same area?
We do not match up Angels and patients/seniors according to their geographic locations. In fact, we try to make assignments so there is some distance between volunteer and recipient. Since our service is provided via postal mail, the location of either party is unimportant. We do match recipients to Angels in the same country whenever possible. For example, we assign U.S. Angels to U.S. patients, Canadian Angels to Canadian patients, etc.
Can a group of people (a classroom, women's club, church group, etc.) sign up to volunteer together?
We do not accept Angeling groups. Our recipients feel much more comfortable with one-on-one relationships.
Why must volunteers be 25 years of age or older?
We used to accept volunteers as young as 18, but it just did not work out. Nine out of ten Angels under the age of 25 ended up quitting the program, and it was very disruptive for our recipients and the program.
Do recipients and volunteers ever talk on the phone or meet?
The Chemo Angels program is carried out strictly through the postal service. Anything beyond this is out of the realm of the Chemo Angels program and strictly up to the individuals themselves.
Do you give out or sell your participant's personal information?
NEVER! We respect the privacy of all our participants and we do everything we can to protect their personal information.
How long does the average assignment last?
The average course of chemo is 3-6 months. While some treatments are shorter, others are much longer. 18 months is the maximum length for a Chemo Angel assignment, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Unfortunately, our program is not set up to accommodate long-term treatments.
Is Chemo Angels a pen pal program?
We are not a pen pal program. Our recipients are told from the start that they are under no obligation to respond directly to their Angels. We are here to encourage, not to add another obligation to our recipient's lives. Our recipients are required to check in with Chemo Angels administration once a month, and Angels can request a copy of their buddy's check-in each month from the administration.
Is e-mail a part of the program?
The Angel/patient relationship is strictly postal. Angels send at least one card, letter or small gift weekly. E-mail with a buddy should not be considered a substitute for sending postally at least once a week.
I have a friend who would love to be an Angel, but she does not have a computer. Can she help?
We know there are many wonderful would-be Angels out there without computers, but our Angel volunteers do need to have e-mail capabilities and regular access to it.
This program is named Chemo Angels. Are you a religious organization?
This organization is a program for cancer patients and seniors, not an evangelical ministry. All applicants are asked whether or not they wish to receive spiritual encouragement.