CCF Volunteer Program

volunteer-program

Volunteer Spotlight - Lourdes Rocha

Lourdes Rocha works as a Child Life Specialist at a children’s hospital in the Los Angeles area. She works in patient advocacy helping children understand why they are finding themselves in the hospital, as well as providing support and resources for the children, their siblings and families. Helping patients and families is certainly in her nature.

Almost ten years ago, Lourdes’ father was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma. She discovered CCF’s discussion boards and forum posts. She was soon welcomed to the group with kindness, and friendships began to develop. Unfortunately, her father passed away in 2012 and it was difficult. Seeking to keep her father’s memory alive she made plans to attend an event in Washington D.C. Her father was a veteran and every year in June the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) hosts the In Memory Day ceremony where loved ones come together to recognize the veterans they lost to service-connected issues, and meet other family members who share similar experiences. It was in Washington D.C. that Lourdes met a volunteer connected to CCF - Anne Petitti, who had lost her husband to cholangiocarcinoma. Anne had initiated support groups because of the frustration she felt as she tried to navigate the VA claims process. Anne and Eileen Skahill co-created a Facebook group to assist other veterans and provide steps on how to file a claim and furnish research to support the claims. When new family members were added to the private group, Lourdes was there to welcome them, assist and provide much needed support.

Lourdes has continued this work for over 7 years. Additionally, she has also worked on numerous data and administrative projects for CCF, fundraised, and currently handles CCF’s veterans program entirely. Having gone through the VA claims process herself she knows first- hand how overwhelming and emotionally draining it can be. While her father first submitted his own claim, it took an additional claim and several appeals before it was finally approved six years later. Lourdes works to pay forward the kindness others showed her along the journey. She also wants others to know not to give up, and put your health first. She is truly committed to building a community and providing emotional support as well as key research and resources. It is a great honor and privilege to recognize Lourdes Rocha as the Volunteer of the Month!

New Volunteer Opportunities

Cindy Thomas is the Foundation's Volunteer Coordinator.

Cindy received a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University and has enjoyed working with the Foundation since June of 2018 as a part time staff member.

If you have any questions regarding the Foundation's volunteer programs, please contact Cindy at cindy.thomas@cholangiocarcinoma.org.

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