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Cancer Buddies – a meeting place for relatives

Cancer Buddies – a meeting place for relatives
No caregiver should ever feel isolated or unsupported

In the shadow of cancer's impact, not just the patients but their caregivers bear a silent, often overlooked burden. Recognizing this, Cancerkompisar (Cancer Buddies) emerged as a sanctuary for those caring for loved ones with cancer, evolving from a heartfelt connection between two individuals into a national anchor of support and connection. 
The story of Cancerkompisar 
It all began with a personal tragedy experienced by Inga-Lill Lellky, who felt isolated and alone being a care giver to her husband with cancer. Despite having a vast social network, the absence of someone who could truly understand her struggle was palpable. It was only through meeting Gertrud, via a counselor, who shared a similar journey, that Inga-Lill found comfort. This bond inspired Alexandra Lellky ten years later to suggest the creation of a platform that would facilitate such connections among caregivers, leading to the creation of Cancerkompisar.
Initially a basic website and Facebook group, the initiative rapidly expanded into a comprehensive support system. It was driven by the realization that caregivers needed more than just an online presence; they needed a community. With funding from Skåne regional council, Cancerkompisar transformed into an innovative platform offering various forms of support, including manual matching processes for caregivers to find their "cancer buddy," an idea inspired by Inga-Lill and Gertrud's story.
By pairing caregivers with others in similar situations, the organization has a unique support network where shared experiences and understanding form the foundation of enduring friendships and mutual support. The unique matchmaking model created by Cancerkompisar is the key for meaningful connections between relatives of cancer patients. The process is straightforward yet powerful, based on three fundamental criteria: age, relationship to the cancer patient and current situation. Now Cancerkompisar is a national non profit organization with ambassadors across Sweden. The organization initiates projects to enhance awareness about caregivers' needs, emphasizing that no individual should face the caregiving journey alone. With over 71,000 Swedes diagnosed with cancer annually (2023), Cancerkompisar's mission is more important than ever, aiming to support the approximately 426,000 new caregivers each year and address the broader impact on over 3 million Swedes.

Cornerstones in the organization
Beyond the community and the matchmaking model Cancer Buddies ambassadors play a pivotal role in building and caring for the supportive network that lies at the heart of the mission. Central to their efforts is the outreach to health and social care settings, as well as to family counselors. Another significant aspect of the ambassadors' contributions is the organization of local Anhörigträffar (supportive meetings for relatives). These gatherings offer a personal and intimate forum guided by a facilitator following the "Det Goda Stödet" (The Good Support) conversational model, these meetings ensure a meaningful, secure, and supportive dialogue.
For more information visit:
Alexandra & Inga-Lill Lellky, Founders, Cancerkompisar


Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.