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If you're a cancer fighter, survivor, or caregiver - please call us toll-free at 1-877-274-5529 or click here to join our database.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How are potential Mentor Angels screened and trained?
How long does it take for someone to get connected to a Mentor Angel?
- A. All potential Mentor Angels are personally screened over the phone by one of our Connection Specialists (An IA staff member who makes the match!). Each screening conversation is thorough and personal and the process is intended to provide the flexibility to accept potential Mentor Angels on a case-by-case basis from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Mentor Angels are intended to nurture a supportive, encouraging and friendly mentorship with a cancer fighter or caregiver without ever dispensing medical advice. All Mentor Angels are required to read training materials when they register online. Prior to being assigned as a Mentor Angel, they are required to read the materials and go through a phone training program with a Imerman Angels Connection Specialist. They are then sent additional training materials to help support these efforts. Imerman Angels Connection Specialists are available to address any questions.
What happens if Imerman Angels can't find a match for a certain cancer?
- We strive to match all those seeking support within one to three business days, depending on the availability of our Mentor Angels.
Does information entered by cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers remain confidential?
- We have the world's largest database of cancer survivors dedicated to providing one-on-one cancer support. Occasionally an exact match can't be found internally. In those instances, we reach out to our network of cancer partner organizations to find a match.
Are any connections between Mentor Angels and support seekers made completely online?
- Yes, all the information entered is secure and is never shared with anyone outside of the matching process.
What communication methods do matched support seekers and Mentor Angels use?
- No, instead one of our Connection Specialists is personally involved with every single match in order to ensure the highest quality of personal service.
How often do support seekers and Mentor Angels communicate?
- Together they decide how they would like to keep in touch in a way that is convenient for the cancer fighter or caregiver seeking support. Some examples include:
- Instant Messaging
- Social Media
- Meeting face-to-face
- Snail mail
How are connected support seekers and Mentor Angels monitored? Is there a follow up?
- Each matched pair determines the frequency and duration of their contact and is generally guided by the needs of the support seeker. Some pairs speak regularly and have even traveled great distances to meet in person. Other pairs require less contact. Sometimes all that's needed is one phone call.
Do they need to live in the same city?
- We send follow up communications (usually email) to matched support seekers and Mentor Angels five business days after a match is made to verify that a connection took place and was successful.
What if a cancer fighter or caregiver can't afford phone calls or doesn't have email access?
- Not at all - matched pairs could be living anywhere, as long as they are able to communicate in a way that works for the support seeker (email, phone, IM, social media, snail mail, in person, etc). A support seeker can also indicate a preference for finding a local match.
What happens if a Mentor Angel relapses while they're paired with a support seeker?
- Our Connection Specialists work with the support seeker and Mentor Angel to ensure that they able to communicate. Donated prepaid phone cards can be provided.
What happens if the connection between the Mentor Angel and support seeker doesn't work for whatever reason?
- Our Mentor Angels are trained to contact one of our Connection Specialists if there's ever an extenuating circumstance of any kind. The Connection Specialist helps find a supportive and positive solution.
Can a support seeker be matched with more than one Mentor Angel?
- The support seeker and/or Mentor Angel are taught to contact one of our Connection Specialists to help find a supportive and positive solution.
Does Imerman Angels give medical advice?
- Absolutely. Each person's cancer experience is different and some times it is helpful to benefit from the support of more than one Mentor Angel.
How does Imerman Angels insure that Mentor Angels don't give medical advice?
- Never. All of our Mentor Angels are trained never to give medical advice or to try and diagnose a medical problem.
Is Imerman Angels able to help any cancer fighter worldwide?
- All of our Mentor Angels agree to our Terms and Conditions. Each is also trained at least three times (online, on the phone with a Connection Specialist and sent training materials) before being connected with someone in need.
Yes, We make every effort to connect a support seeker with a Mentor Angel living anywhere in the world. Matches can connect via phone, internet, snail mail or in person. Donated prepaid phone cards are available to each match.
Does Imerman Angels help people with illnesses that aren't cancer?
Is Imerman Angels only in Chicago?
- In order to ensure the highest quality of service and mission fulfillment, we are dedicated to helping cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers. For someone facing another illness, a referral can be made to one of our partner organizations.
How much does it cost to use the Imerman Angels services?
- We are available to any cancer fighter, cancer caregiver or cancer survivor of any gender, facing any type of cancer, at any stage, living anywhere in the world.
What age group does Imerman Angels serve?
- All our services are free. We are committed to ensuring that no one faces cancer alone.
What's the youngest that Imerman Angels connects a support seeker to a Mentor Angel?
- Any age can be matched with a Mentor Angel. We also match cancer caregivers (example: parents of a child cancer fighter or children of an older cancer fighter).
Which cancer types are represented?
- All of our connections are made on a case-by-case basis. Children ages 13 and younger typically also involve connecting a parent or guardian.
At what point in treatment does Imerman Angels help people?
- Almost every type of cancer is represented in our database of thousands of cancer survivors. If we are unable to find an exact match within our database we reach out to our cancer partners.
Does Imerman Angels help people at any stage level?
- At absolutely any point - we welcome anyone at any point in their cancer experience!
What sorts of questions do support seekers (cancer fighters and caregivers) ask their Mentor Angels? What issues are discussed?
- Yes, connections are available for anyone at any stage level.
Can Imerman Angels help the friends and family of cancer fighters?
- The relationship between a support seeker and a Mentor Angel is a natural, friendly mentorship that is supportive in nature. Mentor Angels never dispense any medical advice or try to diagnose a medical problem. Conversation topics might include:
- Pain issues
- What treatments and side effects feel like
- experience navigating the medical system
- support from family and friends
- relationships, dating and sex
- tips like how eating lemon flavored candy can neutralize the metallic chemo taste in your mouth
How much time is needed after being declared cancer?
- Yes! Under our caregiver program anyone (parents, siblings, children or friends of a cancer fighter) can seek the support of a Mentor Angel (who was a cancer caregiver).
How many offices does Imerman Angels have? How many employees?
- Everyone's cancer experience is unique. That's why we work on a case by case basis with each fighter, survivor and caregiver.
How does Imerman Angels find cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers?
- We have one office in Chicago with a small group of dedicated staff, hundreds of passionate volunteers and the world's largest database of thousands of cancer survivors dedicated to providing one-on-one cancer support. All of our Connection Specialists are cancer survivors and can empathize and relate the unique needs of cancer support seekers.
Why does Imerman Angels host events?
- We use every reasonable resource to conduct outreach to cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers. We are always looking for more ways to connect with people in need. If you have a suggestion, please contact us. Some examples include:
- referrals from the medical community or cancer partner organizations
- word of mouth
- social media
Where do funds and donations for Imerman Angels go?
- All of our services are provided completely free of charge to ensure that no one has to fight cancer alone. Events help ensure that this service will always remain free and available to those in need: cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers.
- Donations directly help us accomplish the mission. Funds help us hire and train Connection Specialists, conduct outreach to cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers, and build tools and resources that make one-on-one cancer support more effective and efficient.