What is Peer Coaching?
Our coaches are young adult cancer survivors who are trained and monitored by DUHS mental health professionals who support teen and young adults with chronic conditions gain skills for long-term health and wellness.
The process has a goal of helping each participant understand where they see themselves going, what’s important to them about that, and what steps are meaningful and manageable to begin to take to get there.
It all started with Bobby.
Bobby’s Coaches is named after Bobby Menges, a Duke University student, patient, advocate, Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity brother, and force of nature for doing good in his community. Bobby survived childhood cancer and embraced life head on and passionately as he grew up navigating cancer and survivorship at a young age.
Bobby at Duke
While studying at Duke University, Bobby received the news of his childhood cancer returning. He re-entered a world he unfortunately knew well. A world of doctor appointments, treatments, side effects, and one that seems overwhelming and isolating.
But now, Bobby was facing this world through a new perspective. That of a young adult, filled with the excitement of independence, and on the brink of making his mark on the world.
Not Done Yet
After the diagnosis, Bobby began treatment while continuing to pursue his education at Duke University. Bobby was constantly fundraising, volunteering, or speaking at events to benefit the cancer community and raise awareness. He began to mentor other students at Duke living with chronic illnesses.
As a member of the Duke Teen and Young Adult Oncology Patient Advisory Council, he voiced the need for specific young adult care in a world where cancer patients are typically pediatric or geriatric. Bobby recognized this gap in care and championed for change for himself and other young adults experiencing cancer.
To honor Bobby, the Menges family created the I’m Not Done Yet Foundation that focuses on adolescent and young adult patients with cancer and other serious, chronic, and long-term illnesses.
Through this foundation and other generous ongoing donations, Bobby’s Coaches was established at Duke University in order to impact young adults in which the way Bobby championed for himself and others.
As a result, Bobby’s Coaches is focused on peer support and coaching during and after the cancer diagnosis to increase independence throughout adolescence and young adulthood.