Chemo Buddies 4 Life connects cancer patients for support and friendship

Denise Dador Image
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chemo Buddies connects cancer patients for support and friendship
Two cancer survivors who met and became lifelong friends created a website to connect other cancer patients or survivors so they too can go through their journey together.

ORANGE, Calif. (KABC) -- Cancer warriors Tamara Hunter and Martha Newsom are two friends who met one another during a chemotherapy treatment at Breastlink Treatment Center in Orange.

They felt an instant connection and had a shared sense of humor.

"When I saw her, she was bald and she was baring it all, and she looked beautiful," Hunter said.

Newsom went on to tease Hunter about their first meeting.

"She calls herself a hot mess," Newsom said. "But I look at her as a combination of Lucy and Ricky - all in one!"

The two created Chemo Buddies 4 Life . It's sort of a for patients going through cancer.

They've walked every step of their cancer journey together.

"We both had strong family support. It's not to belittle that whatsoever. I couldn't have done it without them either, but the thing is we kept our whining and our problems between us. We kept our challenges between us," Newsom said.

Hunter agreed.

"She was really a lot of that lifeline, if you will," she said.

Medical Onocologist Dr. Wade Smith said having social support like this patient-buddy system can improve outcomes and quality of life.

"A lot of what makes this journey so difficult and so hard can be assisted greatly by having someone there with you, right at your side," Smith said.

Smith said he also sees improvements in other areas, such as being more active and eating healthier foods.

If you're going through cancer treatment, here's how you can find a chemo buddy. First, fill out a profile. You don't have to use your real name. Then, you'll get a match to another patient, or survivor, or support person.

Hunter and Newsom also offer up humorous, inspirational videos. The ladies live by three words: Humor, hope and heart.

"You've got to laugh, and boy do we," Hunter said.

Newsom added to always "laugh at yourself."

The friends for life said the bottom line is - don't do it alone.