Season of Giving: Peer Mentor Edition

The weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year are known by a lot of names. It’s been called the season of light, the holidays, the most wonderful time of the year. But here at Magee, we like to think of this time as the Season of Giving. Throughout the month of December, we’re going to spotlight programs and successes that are only achievable through your charitable support. We’ll show you just how your support helps us support our patients and community.

So far, we’ve shared patients’ experiences with art therapyhorticultural therapy and wheelchair sports. For our final story of the month, we wanted to tell you more about another program that relies solely on donor support: our Peer Mentor Program.

After a life-changing injury, you find yourself in a place you never thought you would be, being asked to make decisions you’d never expect you’d need to make. You aren’t sure who to turn to. Sure, the doctors are giving you advice. They’re giving you resources and brochures. But what you really need is to talk to somebody who knows how you’re feeling. someone who knows the questions you have, the problems you’ll face. You need someone who has been there before. That’s the idea behind Magee’s Peer Mentor Programs.

These programs are designed to offer newly injured patients and their families the opportunity to speak with specially selected and trained individuals who have faced life circumstances similar to their own—and are living full lives. The peer mentors are grouped by injury—spinal cord, amputee, stroke and brain injury—and meet with newly injured patients to offer their support.

But don’t just take it from us. Here’s what some of the participants had to say.

“When you meet with a patient for the first time, they have just experienced what they believe is the worst thing that could happen. To talk to someone that has been through it and is doing well… that’s exactly what people need at that time.”
– Michael, AmpPeer

“Immediately after my son’s injury, I felt a true sense of loss. When family or friends do not understand what an injury means, you can feel isolated. As a peer mentor, I can use my experiences to help someone else get through those rough times.”
– Dorian, Spinal Cord Family Peer Mentor

“I get a lot of questions about day-to-day living, but I also offer advice for things that my own experience has shown me are important that they may not be thinking of at that time, like how to maintain your body and the importance of stretching and exercise.”
– Jason, Stroke Peer Mentor

“Since I started being a mentor, I am more grateful. Grateful that I can be a part of a group that helps other families know that life does not end with a wheelchair. we all share a common denominator. And if we survived, they can also survive.”
– Dorian, Spinal Cord Family Peer Mentor

You can learn more about our participants’ experiences with our Peer Mentor Program in an article in the magazine below. It’s an incredible program that relies completely on donor support, so please click here to make your gift today!

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