Wellspring Volunteer – Laurel Green
Laurel Green survived cancer in her 20s, and with the difficult experience behind her, she was all too eager to get on with life. Then one day, more than a decade later, she found herself reflecting back. She wondered where cancer belonged in her life. She longed to make meaning of her experience.
Today Laurel finds belonging and meaning in her volunteer role at Wellspring. “Working with other young adults at Wellspring has connected me to a community that understands my experience with cancer, and helps me make new meaning of this significant and challenging part of my life.”
Q & A with Laurel
How did you come to be a volunteer at Wellspring?
In 2018, I reached out and connected with Wellspring and Niki Fehr at what was then the temporary Fountain Court Location and came in to interview with her about volunteering at Wellspring. My experience with cancer, my diagnosis and treatment, happened while I was in my mid-20s. After I was given the all-clear, I moved on with my life, school, and work and I found myself in remission a decade later and still not yet 40. I wondered, what is my relationship to cancer now, and what will it be in the future? Learning about Wellspring at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre when I was there for my follow up scans, I felt drawn to become part of a cancer community and to lend my energy and time to support programs for young adults who are living with cancer. I wanted to be around others who knew the unique challenges of having cancer at this early stage in your life, and who understood what it meant to grow up into adulthood with cancer. Niki was warm and welcoming, she appreciated my story and was excited to get me started volunteering at the front desk and in programs. I did the Wellspring Peer Support training over a sunny weekend at Carma House, and became a peer support volunteer for young adults. I started connecting with members through phone calls, programs, field trips, and now have continued to volunteer online.
What volunteer roles have you enjoyed?
I have been a Front Desk volunteer, assisted in programs, and been a Peer Support volunteer with a special focus on working with young adults and assisting YA Program Lead Misha Waheed. I’ve volunteered for Halloween parties, ukulele jams, exercise classes, craft days, field trips to the theatre, Saskatoon Berry picking, and the evening of fireworks at Global Fest. During the pandemic, I regularly volunteer for the YA HIIT 45 program and I co-host social and fun YA activities online with Misha, such as the annual Holiday Party, and Wellspring’s monthly YA Games Nights.
How has this volunteer role impacted your life?
Volunteering with Wellspring has provided a tremendous opportunity to meet an incredible group of young adults at different stages of cancer care. To develop relationships and witness their journeys over time has changed the way I think about my own story, and reminds me that it is essential to have a support network and a community around you – a social outlet, people to talk to and play with! Working with other young adults at Wellspring has connected me to a community that understands my experience with cancer, and helps me make new meaning of this significant and challenging part of my life. As a Wellspring volunteer, I get to help build and share in a vital community space. I’m very grateful to Wellspring for the training, resources, and support they provide us as volunteers. I’ve learned a lot during my time with Wellspring, and built relationships with staff and other volunteers, as well as the members.