BOLD Buddies Program

The Lewin Fund Improves Quality of Life through the BOLD Buddies Program

The BOLD Brothers/Sisters Program: A Peer Support Program for Bronx Youth and Young Adults with a Mother or Grandmother Facing Cancer

The Lewin Fund financially supports the development of a peer support and education program for Bronx youth and young adults who are caring for their mothers and grandmothers with cancer. This program will help reduce isolation and promote adaptive coping skills, self-esteem, and social functioning.

The BOLD Buddy peer counseling program:

  • Trains peers as BOLD Brothers/Sisters and seeks to match them with teens or young adults currently affected by a mother’s or grandmother’s cancer diagnosis.
  • Identifies teens and young adults through our Psychosocial Needs Assessment database and outreach to the 1,500 patient participants in the BOLD Program.
  • Identifies BOLD Brothers/Sisters peer counselors through our BOLD internship program that draws student interns from local Bronx high schools and colleges.
  • Surveys participating teens and young adults to examine the impact of peer counseling on mood, coping skills, self-esteem, school or work performance, perceptions of social support, and satisfaction with their BOLD brother/sister experience.

Peer support has been shown to be an important component to the psychosocial care of adolescent and young adult cancer patients. It helps normalize a situation that is not normal in this stage of a young person’s life. Similarly, teenagers and young adult children affected by parental cancer may benefit from having peer support. Peers are a major source of support during the teen years and peer advisors have been found to be an effective means to humanize and increase utilization of services that are available, especially for multicultural students. To date, there are no known studies on the use of peer interventions for teens affected by parental cancer.