Chemo Buddies: Together is Better

I received information and materials from AstraZeneca. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.

The second annual C2 Awards were hosted on October 21st. These Awards are celebrated annually to honor the unsung heroes of cancer care who help uplift communities and improve the cancer experience for all involved.

I’m excited to share the story of our own Indiana hero, Jill Kincaid, who is one of the four winners of the second annual Cancer Community (C2) Awards. Jill was awarded the C2 Catalyst for Care Award. The Catalyst for Care Award is given to those who work to improve patient care during treatment and outside the clinic.

Jill Kincaid Chemo Buddies

Jill founded Chemo Buddies, an Evansville-based non-profit in August of 2011. Chemo Buddies’ motto is, “Because no one should ever have to go through chemo alone.” Receiving chemotherapy treatments can be quite scary, especially if the patient doesn’t have a loved one who can attend the treatment with them. Chemo Buddies’ volunteers are there to step in. They make the chemo process less overwhelming for more than 250 patients every day. Volunteers provide drinks and snacks, retrieve warm blankets, play games and chat with those receiving chemo treatments, making the treatment room more like a living room than a sterile medical environment.

How a patient feels during treatment and what happens outside the clinic matters just as much as the treatment itself. Making a patient’s experience as easy as possible during a difficult time is critical. Brad’s aunt has experienced the care and compassion of Chemo Buddies volunteers firsthand while receiving her cancer treatments at an Evansville infusion center.

During my cancer scare, which turned out to be galactocele with benign tissue, the care and support I had through testing was critical to my comfort, especially as a new mom recovering from an unplanned C-section. I was also alone because Brad had used all of his sick days and wasn’t able to take off work and attend my screenings with me. We also don’t live near family members who could’ve gone with me. I’ll always remember the cancer care specialist who came into the room to hold my hand and offer reassuring words while a needle biopsy was performed on my breast.


Continuing life to the fullest extent, even while spending time in a treatment room, is possible thanks to Jill Kincaid’s Chemo Buddies. Jill and her sister, Karen, came up with the idea of Chemo Buddies while Karen was undergoing chemo. They wanted to make the treatment room less fearful and more giving. Chemo Buddies is a living legacy to Jill’s sister, Karen, who passed away from Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in July of 2011.

Jill Kincaid

Chemo Buddies volunteers aren’t only a comfort to those sitting in treatment chairs. They also take the stress off those who can’t be with their loved one while they receive treatments. Knowing their person is being well taken care of by a Chemo Buddy volunteer provides a lot of peace of mind.

Chemo Buddies

For those who have cancer, treat it, or are impacted by it – a community of support committed to providing information and resources can be an invaluable comfort during uncertain times. And Chemo Buddies does just that with their additional programs outside the treatment rooms.

Beauty Buddies helps with the stresses of the cosmetic side of chemotherapy. A licensed cosmetologist leads a class on wigs, skin care, and makeup. Patients learn how to draw on eyebrows, care for their wig, and how to take care of their dry skin. Jill tells me they’re working on opening a wig boutique. Patients will be able to pick out wigs that have been donated. The wig boutique will also offer washing and styling of wigs by a professional stylist.

Mermaid Squad is a program that is like a support group without it being an official support group. Members of the Mermaid Squad meet for fun activities like sign-making workshops, cake decorating classes, etc. Private rooms are often reserved so women feel comfortable removing their wigs. While partaking in the activities, women start chatting and naturally bring up things they’re going through related to their cancer. It’s like group therapy without the label of group therapy.

chemo buddies evansville, indiana

Student Buddies is a way for local students to support those undergoing cancer treatments in their community. Students decorate gift bags and other items for patients, as well as make port pillows.

Jill has big dreams for Chemo Buddies. She’s working on launching a comprehensive support network soon. A current cancer patient will be matched with a survivor who had the same type of cancer. The survivor can offer support and answer any questions for the person currently undergoing treatments.

Jill would also like to expand Chemo Buddies statewide. She currently has her eyes on Simon Cancer Center here in Indianapolis.

As an Indiana resident, I’m grateful to have Jill as part of our Hoosier community. The tools or techniques required to implement her program could apply and advance care for cancer patients across the country.

I received information and materials from AstraZeneca. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.

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  1. What a wonderful program. It would be amazing to see this program nationwide.

  2. I love this idea. Once my kids are a bit older, I’ll have to see if something like this is available in my area!

  3. This is a great post thanks!

  4. Chemo buddies sounds like a great program! I hope to be able to do things like that once retirement hits.

  5. Wow what a neat story! ❤️

  6. What wonderful work and amazing organization. Congrats to Jill on her award. Truly deserved.

  7. What an awesome program! Running to see if they have a similar one here in my town. Thanks for always providing inspiring content.

  8. Sounds like an amazing program!

  9. What an amazing resource for what is a stressful time for anyone. Great post!

  10. Laura Hart says:

    Such a great program, thank you for sharing!

  11. What a great program! I can’t imagine having to have chemo much less go it alone!

  12. This is a beautiful program. Thank you for sharing this post!

  13. What an awesome story!

  14. Oh my gosh! What a hero! That’s a program that should be copied and pasted into every facility everywhere. We need more Jills!

    1. Love this idea! Agreed!

  15. Caroline Campbell says:

    Thank you Jill and Chemo Buddies!!!

  16. Oh! This is so beautiful and touching. What a deserved honor for this woman to win for this charity. Especially because it brings more attention to a great cause and effort.

  17. Thanks for raising the awareness

  18. Sounds like a great program

  19. I love this! My dad went through chemo and it was the worst of all his treatments. Thankfully, he had my mom to be with him, but I can see how this is such a valuable service to all those going through chemo. I hope to one day volunteer in this capacity as well!

    1. Programs like this are needed by many and it’s nice to know that they are available. Thanks for a great informative post!

  20. Muriel Bailey says:

    I wish this had been available for my mom. I love this ❤️

  21. Christine says:

    This is beautiful. I’m so glad to know programs like this exist!

  22. What an amazing group, and so thankful for wonderful people like Jill!

  23. Thank you for sharing this amazing program. Several of my friends have experienced breast cancer and I can imagine they would have benefited from this support during their journey.

  24. This is so well deserved. Congratulations to all!

  25. This sounds like an amazing program! Thank you for sharing.

  26. What a heart warming program! Such a great idea. Cancer journeys right now look even more lonely than before. So anything anyone can do to help pass the treatment time and make people feel like they’re not alone is such an amazing gift!

  27. Thank you for sharing this story, I had no idea. I’ve been a nurse at Huntsman Cancer Hospital since 2012 and have seen firsthand how important volunteers are. I’m brought to tears by Jill’s giving heart!

  28. Christine says:

    This sounds like a great program!

  29. Nicole Critz-Lane says:

    Absolutely beautiful program! Thanks for sharing this information! Looking forward to looking into in my area.

  30. This sounds like an amazing resource to have for anyone needing it! God bless the Jills of the world!

  31. What an amazing program for people undergoing treatment and for those who benefit by volunteering their time.

  32. Molly Johnston says:

    Sometimes, we just need a caring soul to hold our hand while we do a scary thing. I love this program, thank you for sharing it!

  33. What an amazing group! I love when partnerships btw bloggers & companies promote causes that are personal to the person & not just “influencing”

  34. What a fabulous program! Jill sounds like such a treasure!

  35. Jessica Jones says:

    What a great program! Loved hearing about all of these services. Thank you for sharing!

  36. Ilicia book says:

    This sounds amazing, thank you for sharing!

  37. What an amazing program! I too had a breast cancer scare very similar to your own. I could not imagine going through it alone.

  38. Such a great program and very well deserved! Congrats

  39. It’s so great that these patients are receiving support and being connected with others in similar situations!

  40. I would imagine this is a wonderful program for all involved. The patients and their families, the medical staff, and the volunteers themselves are winning all around. Many congratulations and thanks to Jill and all the Chemo Buddies!!!!!

  41. Amazing program, run by a beautiful woman!♥️

  42. Such an inspirational story!! Thank u for sharing it with us.

  43. What a wonderful program! Jill sounds like an amazing person ❤️ This should go beyond Indiana! 🏆

  44. What a great program!

  45. Desiree Schreiber says:

    This is so awesome! It should be everywhere. Chemo is hard enough to go through. Having a friendly face certainly helps!

  46. Beautifully written and so amazing!

  47. What a great organization and a great opportunity to volunteer your time.

  48. Chemo Buddies sounds like an amazing program! As a hospital social worker, I am so grateful to people like Jill who think outside the box and fill gaps and needs for people in our communities. Thank you, Jill! And thank you, Chelsea, for sharing this!

  49. That’s great that there is a community for those going through so much.

  50. Stephanie Barrios says:

    I’ve never heard of Chemo Buddies. I love this concept. My Aunt is getting ready to go through Chemo and she is having a hard time with it. I hope there are Chemo Buddies near her so she won’t be alone. Family is too far away to support her.

    Thank you for sharing your story and Jill and Karen!

  51. That is so cool! Any organization that recognizes and honors the human/emotional side of medicine gets gets a huge thumbs up from me 😁

  52. Brooke Gregg says:

    What a beautiful tribute in her sister’s memory! Sounds like an amazing program.

  53. Susan or SQinSouthlands says:

    Chelsea, this was a truly amazing post about amazing people. I know that when I went through chemo I was fortunate to have friends and family accompany me but another woman who had to travel 10 hours for treatment was alone abs we tried to help her as much as we could. We were diagnosed at the same time and had the same cancer. We also completed out radiation together. The chemo buddies program sounds wonderful and thanks for the great write up!

  54. What a phenomenal program. So glad this exists!

  55. Such a wonderful story, what a wonderful lady! ❤️

  56. Programs like this are amazing. Thank you for sharing.

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