Friend with cancer?

What do you do for a friend with cancer?

Cancer is an exhausting fight. It’s a marathon, and often doesn’t quite end at the official finish line. Are there ways you can help a friend with cancer?

You might be worried about tiring them further with visits, or perhaps you don’t want to embarrass them by asking personal questions. Everyone has their own preferences for what they secretly may want their friends to do for them, but let’s ask our expert.

Rodney, what did you appreciate most?

friend with cancer

  • Rodney is a photographer by trade. Even in the middle of his fight, he was hired to photograph weddings. Some days were harder than others, and on those days, his photographer friends sprang to help him, even on very short notice.
  • Rodney’s friends went as far as to be part of the bone marrow donor registry.
  • They organized a fundraiser for him, and insisted he take the money.
  • Rodney’s old friends and co-workers took up a collection for him at The Detroit News and The Free Press. Everyone gave a little bit.
  • When Rodney was in the hospital, neighbors and friends cooked dinners and fed his family, just dropping off food without being asked.

But most importantly of all:

Rodney’s friends knew that for a friend with cancer, the presence of a support network is vital. They might not always be nearby, but they’re always in shouting distance, and often visited. You don’t have to organize a fundraiser or a collection to make your support felt. Just visit.

Sometimes your friend may not be in the mood for a visit. It’s often hard to tell until you get there, but keep in mind: your visit is still appreciated and valued. If they look tired or don’t want to talk, take the hint, but come back soon.

Instead of asking, “What can I do for you?” ask, “Can I bring you something?” or “Do your kids need a ride to school?” Asking about specifics makes it easier for your friend to say,

“Yes, please.”


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