Spreading the word about the breast cancer peer navigator program

The Safeway Foundation supports the WeCARE! Community-Based Breast Cancer Peer Navigator Program, which trains survivors as "cancer coaches" for those newly diagnosed with the disease.

WeCARE! Community-Based Breast Cancer Peer Navigator Program volunteers, along with program coordinator Janelle Mefford, are hosting information tables at Safeway stores throughout Northern California during the month of October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The Safeway Foundation, which supports the WeCARE! Program, raises funds for breast cancer research and education through in-store donations from shoppers during the month of October.

Peer navigators are breast cancer survivors who act as "cancer coaches" to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients from diagnosis through treatment. The program helps patients reduce anxiety, improve problem solving and coping skills, and gain tools to help them communicate more effectively with physicians and other providers. Peer navigators also offer hope and compassion because they understand the concerns a woman has when receiving a cancer diagnosis, which can affect patients both emotionally and financially. Trained peer navigators also provide resources and help patients gain access to the information they need to help them better cope with the challenges of having cancer.

During October, volunteers and WeCARE! staff are speaking with shoppers about the importance of breast cancer screening and early detection and  with survivors who are two or more years out of treatment about becoming trained peer navigators.  The Safeway stores are decked out in pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, and store employees are eager to participate, asking every shopper to please make a donation.

Interested participants in the WeCARE! Community-Based Breast Cancer Peer Navigator Program should contact Janelle Mefford at 916-734-5786. Training for survivors to become navigators will be held Saturday, Oct. 15 or Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Patti Robinson at 916-734-5786 to register.