History

Sheila Kussner founded Hope & Cope in 1981, when the word “cancer” was considered taboo.

Four decades later, Hope & Cope is still a pioneer and leading the way in cancer care and support.

Founder’s Greetings

“ 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.
hope-and-cope_sheila-kussner-greetings

From the beginning

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 of over 300 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.

Hospital-Affiliated Wellness Centre

Hope & Cope created the first hospital-affiliated wellness center in Quebec. Our dedication and focus on research led to a first project in 1990.

Pioneering Women's Support Groups

We led the way in Quebec by establishing the first peer-based support group for women newly diagnosed, followed by the ‘Breast Friends’ group for women with metastatic cancer, setting a precedent in specialized cancer support.

Addressing Young Adults' Unique Needs

In 1985, Hope & Cope recognized and addressed the specific challenges faced by young adults with cancer. This led to the creation of the first Young Adult Patients’ support group in Canada.

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