We [Sarah and I] needed help from someone who had already walked in our shoes - someone to lift the fog that blinded us and allow us to fight with vision, clarity, and hope.
Profound bonds are forged, and mentorships give way to lasting friendships that are sometimes only possible when both parties emotionally respond to a common adversity … our international presence reminds us that hardships do not discriminate.
CholangioConnect Program Manager
My initial phone call with my mentor lasted over an hour and I went from feeling scared and alone, to feeling informed, hopeful, and more equipped to face the uncertain times ahead for my dad and our family.
Rob Howard, Caregiver Mentee
CholangioConnect was my mooring in a hurricane…[it] absolutely sustained me, and helped me navigate life.
Caregiver Mentee and Mentor
When it comes to mentoring, I enjoy the relationships the best.
CholangioConnect creates personalized connections that enable one-on-one support among cholangiocarcinoma fighters, survivors and caregivers.
This peer-to-peer connection platform helps anyone touched by cholangiocarcinoma, at any stage in their journey, find a mentor to ask questions and get support from someone who has personal experience with the disease. All services are provided in English only.
Greetings from Istanbul, Turkey.
I am 45 years old and work as an attorney of law, the profession that I inherited from my beloved father who passed away from cholangiocarcinoma on Jan. 8, 2018.
My dad had a Klatskin Tumor, and he was diagnosed in August 2017, within a week after being hospitalized due to unexplained fever. He was taken into Whipple surgery but it was understood he had multiple micro-metastases in the liver so nothing could be done.
This was a very rare cancer and little was known so I started looking up on the internet to find out if there was anything I could do to both lengthen his life and help myself bear the situation. That's when I found the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (CCF).
I filled out the form and I was responded to immediately by dearest Tom Leitzke. I thought I was pretty lucky because he was a wonderful person. He was very understanding, always by my side, giving advice and positive vibrations, not only for a year until I lost my father, but also afterward while I have been grieving. He even made a connection between me and Svetlana Zheleva from Sofia - Bulgaria. She was also taking care of her mother who suffered from the same cancer.
I keep in touch, as much as possible both with Tom and Svetlana. In this journey, Tom has been an elder brother to me. I really do not know how I would survive being an only child through a year of illness and six months of hospitalization.
I am grateful to CCF for this opportunity and forever in the debt to Tom for being my mentor.
ASLI BESE OZDEMIR