Peer Support Program for Cancer

The Peer Support Program offers cancer patients and their caregivers the opportunity to speak with others who have "been there" and can share their experiences. The program is a free, on-the-phone service of the Ida and Joseph Friend Cancer Resource Center.

Patient Peer Support

Patients are matched with peer support volunteers according to criteria such as diagnosis, cancer stage, age, gender or by preference of the person seeking support. Talking with someone who has lived with cancer can be comforting and reduce the sense of anxiety and isolation that a cancer diagnosis brings.

All cancer patients are welcome regardless of where the care is received.

Peer support volunteers are a devoted group of individuals who can provide support, comfort, and practical information, but not medical advice, to those with cancer. Hearing their experiences can be invaluable.

Neuro-Oncology Peer Support for Caregivers

Caregivers for brain tumor patients have the opportunity to talk by phone with other caregivers as a way to reduce the anxiety and stress that they may experience. Caregivers are matched with trained volunteers who have supported a patient with a similar diagnosis or who have had similar experiences as the caregiver seeking support. To be connected with a caregiver peer, please contact the Caregiver Connection Program at (415) 514-5674.

How It Works

To participate in the patient or caregiver program and connect with a volunteer by phone, you'll be asked to provide:

  • A signed consent form.
  • A form requesting information about your particular needs along with relevant medical information.

To inquire about the patient and caregiver services, contact Margaret Gray at (415) 885-7210 or

Becoming a Volunteer

Experienced patients and caregivers can share their knowledge and insight as a peer support volunteer. By doing so, volunteers not only help others, but have the opportunity to make a rewarding connection.

Prospective Peer Support Volunteers must:

  • Complete a one-time training event.
  • Make a commitment to uphold the values and mission of UCSF.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of all the patients and caregivers.
  • Make a one-year commitment to the program.

For more information about becoming a volunteer, contact Margaret Gray at (415) 885-7210 or

Peer Support is a program of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.