Y-ME may have closed its doors last week, but former counselors hope that their work to support breast cancer victims will continue.
“We want someone to pick us up somehow. All of us are trained and ready to go,” said former counselor Arline Kallick, whose world of Y-ME abruptly ended last Thursday when the board of directors decided to close down its business.
Arline Kallick was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1981 and turned to the Y-ME hotline for support. After receiving help, she realized her purpose in life was to help other victims overcome their battle with breast cancer and has been counseling for more than 30 years.
Y-ME trained counselors to educate callers about their treatment options and being cancer survivors themselves, they knew how to support callers on what they had gone through. Counselors said they communicated with people as far away as Egypt and Hong Kong.
“It’s not a family member, it’s not a friend, it’s just somebody that you can open up your heart to,” said Kallick.
Former Y-ME peer counselors and group supporters gathered at Kallick's house on Wednesday to discuss what’s in the future for them.
With Y-ME out of business, counselors fear that breast cancer victims will have nowhere to turn to receive treatment information and support from breast cancer survivors.
Yet, these former counselors are optimistic of their future in helping breast cancer victims.
“It’s 100 counselors ready and willing to go,” said former counselor Edie Fitts.