Although it is hard to believe today, when I founded Hope & Cope in 1981, the word “cancer” was still whispered and the idea of experienced volunteers helping patients through the cancer journey was considered risky.
We were true pioneers then and I am proud to say that four decades later, Hope & Cope is still innovating and still leading the way, with confidence, creativity and compassion.
If you have cancer, or are helping a loved one through this often overwhelming experience, we are here for you.
Sheila Kussner, O.C., O.Q., C.O.M.
A History of Firsts
We’ve been providing compassionate, supportive, evidence-based cancer care for four decades. In fact, when Hope & Cope opened its doors in 1981, the very concept of providing peer support within a hospital cancer setting was considered revolutionary.
Founded by Sheila Kussner, O.C., O.Q., C.O.M., and affiliated with the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Hope & Cope is a non-profit organization comprised of 400 volunteers managed and guided by a professional staff. Together, we support cancer patients and their caregivers from the moment of diagnosis through all stages of cancer, with a special focus on survivorship.
Recognized nationally and internationally for our pioneering approach and evidence-based programs, we have a proud history of many “firsts” in Quebec.
We were the first to create a support group for women newly diagnosed with cancer and then, years later, the first to create a group called “Breast Friends” for women with metastatic cancer.
We established the first Men’s Club for men with cancer as well as male caregivers.
Back in 1985, we were the first to recognize that young adults have specific needs and challenges. We responded with a support group that eventually developed into CancerFightClub, a dynamic, innovative community for young adults and their supporters, both locally and on-line. And when parents with cancer wondered what to tell their children and how they would cope with raising a family while undergoing treatment, we responded with En famille.