About 650,000 cancer patients go to outpatient oncology clinics for chemotherapy every year. For a patient sitting alone in a clinic, chemotherapy can be lonely at best, and even scary. In 2009, while Karen Williams was being treated for triple-negative breast cancer, she and her sister Jill Kincaid came up with the idea of “Chemo Buddies” — volunteers who provide snacks, support and even gifts for patients during their treatment. After Karen passed away in 2011, Jill launched Chemo Buddies as an Evansville, Indiana-based nonprofit. Today, Chemo Buddies provides companionship to about 250 patients a day, and Jill plans to expand the effort to other states.

For more remarkable stories from the 2020 Winners of the Cancer Community Awards, visit our Heroes of Cancer Care collection.