Caring Ambassadors Lung Cancer Program Supports Patients and Caregivers

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Caregiver Choices is a resource for all those who find themselves in the role of caregiver for someone who has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

A life-changing illness brings much more than the symptoms of a disease. Challenges and potential opportunities arise as well. New perspectives, values, and inspiration can emerge if they are welcomed and fostered. For example, an unexpected illness and a stroke of inspiration gave rise to the Caring Ambassadors Program.

In 1993, Ken Giddes was diagnosed with lung cancer. After an extensive period of treatment, Ken’s cancer appeared to be in remission. As Ken reflected on his experience, he pondered how to use his experience to benefit others. With a strong belief in the power of people helping people, Ken and his employer, Jim Possehl of Republic Financial Corporation came up with the idea of a program to help people struggling with life-threatening illnesses get the support, help, and information they needed. In 1997, Ken and his employer turned their inspiration into reality. The Caring Ambassadors Program was founded at the same time as its first disease-specific program, the Caring Ambassadors Lung Cancer Program.

Ken spent the last years of his life working as a Lung Cancer Caring Ambassador, giving talks about his experiences and being empathetic and encouraging to others who were facing it. Later, his cancer returned and Ken died in January 2001. However, the work he believed in and passionately dedicated himself to goes on.

One of the most meaningful results of Ken’s inspiration was the creation of Lung Cancer Choices, a patient-focused book that provides information about lung cancer to help people make decisions about their treatment for lung cancer treatment. Lung Cancer Choices is free to download from the Caring Ambassadors Lung Cancer Program website.

This downloadable booklet, Caregiver Choices, is a companion to Lung Cancer Choices. It focuses on the caregiver, and all that the caregiver might face supporting a loved one with lung cancer.
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