Friend for Life cancer support network celebrates 25 years

Louisville-based cancer organization has grown to connect survivors across the globe

What began in Louisville as a grassroots effort to connect people with cancer to cancer survivors has grown into an international presence, connecting Louisville cancer survivors with people as far away as France and the Philippines.

Friend for Life Cancer Support Network is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The organization trains cancer survivors to provide one-on-one emotional support to others recently diagnosed with similar cancers. Over the past 25 years, the network has grown to more than 200 survivors of more than 50 different forms of cancer.

“Our goal is to make sure no one faces a cancer diagnosis alone,” said Judy Kasey Houlette, Executive Director. “Over the past 25 years, we’ve made incredible progress toward that goal. The days after someone is diagnosed with cancer, dozens of questions and concerns arise. What can I expect from my treatment? Are there side effects? Friend for Life provides a supportive friend who has been through it all. And that helps a newly diagnosed individual see a path forward.”
To mark its 25th anniversary, Friend for Life is hosting An Evening with Friends on Friday, September 20, 2013, from 5:30 to 9:30 pm at the Audubon Country Club, 3265 Robin Road in Louisville. The event, supported by Norton Cancer Institute, Baptist Health Louisville and the V.V. Cooke Foundation, will feature a buffet dinner, live and silent auctions, a live

band, live comedy and a cash bar. Ticket cost is $75 per person; $750 for a table of ten. Registration information can be found at

“That call [to Friend for Life] was the lifeline that pulled me out of the whirlpool I was thrown in after I was diagnosed,” said Elsa, a survivor of nasopharyngeal cancer. “It was as if I could finally breathe. Friend for Life gave me hope, and I carry that with me every day of my life.”

Friend for Life’s Mission is to help persons recently diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones navigate the path through diagnosis, treatment and recovery by pairing them with a trained survivor of a similar experience so they can face cancer with someone who’s been there. For more information, visit