Pastoral Care

Roswell Park's End of Life and Bereavement program provides compassionate support for patients who have received a terminal diagnosis, as well as their families.

Like many patients, Michaela assumed Pastoral Care programs were meant for people who were members of organized religions. But the Spiritual Care programs at Roswell Park are for everyone regardless of what they believe and whether they identify with any religion.

Cancer can change your whole life. Suddenly, everything is different – your relationships, your outlook on life, your emotions, your daily routine.

Our Director of Spiritual Care may spend her weekdays comforting and supporting patients, families and employees, but on the weekend she has another passion – football!

Cal Walker, 61, was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. He recently underwent a bone marrow transplant at Roswell Park and is doing well. But for the next 54 weeks, Cal will be on disability from his job at Cornell University to recover from his illness. While most would consider this a setback, Cal looks at it as a “gift of time,” and he’s determined to use his time wisely.

Everyone has a story to tell, and the Life Recorded program at Roswell Park gives patients and loved ones an opportunity to preserve that story for generations to come.

When facing a cancer diagnosis, many people turn to their faith to cope. This can be a confusing and difficult time, and religion offers some patients a way to find hope and answers. Spirituality often provides a framework that helps patients make sense of their diagnosis.

If you listen to National Public Radio, it’s likely you’ve heard about StoryCorps, the non-profit initiative that gives Americans the chance to share their most meaningful stories and life experiences through personal recorded interviews.

The news of a cancer diagnosis is difficult for patients and their caregivers, so it helps to find ways to cope with the added stress.

One of the main stressors that people and patients may experience around the holidays is the pressure of expectations. There is gift giving, visiting with family, party planning and so on.

Sharing a good book at bedtime is a common tradition for parents and their little ones. It’s a cozy, magical time that builds a strong family bond. When a cancer diagnosis and hospital stay interrupts the fun, Roswell Park can help bridge the distance.

Cancer is a life-altering experience. The body, mind and spirit undergo a great deal of stress that can raise questions about the future and human existence — What is the meaning of life? Why are we here?