HopeSpring Volunteer Ambassadors During National Volunteer Week

Michele Way

Hi, Waterloo Region is THE place in my life, having been born and raised here and where I: graduated from Laurier; met my amazing husband, Rob; had our wonderful sons – Colin & Corey; spent the majority of my working career as an HR professional; was the consummate hockey, fastball, volleyball…sports mom; spoil 2 grand doggies – Teddy & Koda and now await being a new mother-in-law to two special women – Erin & Melissa.

I have been very fortunate to have been involved in a whole host of volunteer activities over the years.   Currently, I spend my time with Hockey Helps the Homeless, House of Friendship, YW and KidsAbility but in the past have also had the privilege of working with OneRoof, the MayCourt Club, the Sunshine Foundation and the St. Mary’s Volunteer Association.

If you wonder what has brought me to HopeSpring in the newer role of Peer Support Volunteer, it’s been my new season of survivorship from both lung & breast cancer. The past 4 years I have been blessed with incredible family support, wise health care teams and friends that have stood strongly with me and now I am extremely fortunate to support others who reach out to HopeSpring as they bravely travel through their cancer journeys.  It is very humbling to be given this volunteer recognition when it is truly an honour to support our HopeSpring members!


Avtar Singh is a student at Conestoga College doing his Post Grad Certificate in Community and Social Service Management. Previously he has completed his MS Chemistry (2016, India) and Post Grad Certificate in Occupational Health Safety and Wellness (2020) from Conestoga College. This was when he developed his passion for health and wellness at the workplace. He had volunteered at Good Leaf Farms (Guelph) for 5 months. He helped the organization develop a Joint Health & Safety Committee and provide them with the training and documentation needed to run the committee successfully.

At HopeSpring, he helped the organization review and update all the Health & Safety Policies to ensure the complaint with the OHSA legislation. He also helped HopeSpring make the Health & Safety Policy Statement, Fire Safety Plan, Privacy policy & incident report form.

Avtar enjoys a good Netflix binge but can also be found on long hikes on hilly country roads. Whenever he is not reading or working, he loves to go Skiing, camping and long drives.   

Isabel Zagazeta

My name is Isa and I am a current 3rd year WLU undergraduate student. I am a psychology and  philosophy student with a keen interest in research specialization. I love painting in my free time, but since I’ve gotten a new puppy all my time goes to him.

My role at HopeSpring Cancer Support Centre is lead researcher for social programs. My topic looks into the accessibility of cancer support centres to Indigenous communities. I am currently running a workshop, I hope to see you there! 



noname_1619037074640Joel Falk I have been a Registered Massage Therapist for the past 21 years, and a personal trainer for the last 12 years. I have been honoured to play a part in HopeSpring’s members journeys through teaching a Qi Gong class for the last 15 or so years. Outside of work, I enjoy being active as I have been a runner/triathlete for the last 10-15 years, and love being with my family and friends.
I feel humbled to be an ambassador for this very important organization that supports those going through cancer, and all those around them that support, and everyone that has walked a cancer journey of some sort. I was inspired myself by my mother who is a 3 time cancer survivor herself, as well as all the members that I have grown to know over the years. HopeSpring has become an integral part of my life over many years and I believe HopeSpring is vital in this community and beyond for many.
Why I do what I do for HopeSpring/cancer care support:

I have been blessed to be a part of many people’s journeys in this community, and have grown to know, love and respect so many people in the class, and that are part of the HopeSpring community. The weekly teaching of the class has become a big part of my life, as has the interaction with all the members that have become friends as well. I truly care about being a support through this journey that everyone has walked. I look forward to continuing to teach, and whatever role plays out for me at HopeSpring in the future.

What I have learned/what I enjoy through my experience as a volunteer:

I enjoy being a part of all the members lives through these many years of teaching. I feel like I have grown as an instructor and as a person through this time in no small part due to the inspiration of so many members. I also feel like Qi Gong has been a part of the healing journey for many in the class for many years be it mentally, physically, emotionally or otherwise. Thanks again for this opportunity to be a volunteer here, and to be an ambassador for this terrific organization.

Christina Gelinas
HopeSpring volunteer

Hello dear HopeSpring community. Christina here. I’ve been a volunteer facilitator for the every-other-Tuesday-evening women’s cancer support group since July 2019.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was fortunate to be connected with a peer support volunteer who offered me very much needed support during a very scary time. She was seven years out from her diagnosis and just knowing that she had been on the “other side” for that long gave me hope that I too would be on the other side and able to help someone else one day. And here I am, almost eight years later, able to offer my support to women experiencing their own cancer challenges and hopes.

I can’t even begin to tell you what a beautiful experience it is to lead this group. The support, the understanding, the care and the love exchanged by the women in the group is life-affirming and we have all agreed that we leave our meetings feeling a little lighter. It’s a special feeling to know there’s a space where we’ve got each other’s backs, where we can share the load and make each other’s lives just a little bit easier.

 Thank you to all the HopeSpring staff and volunteers who make all of this amazing support possible. Especially now, when we need each other more than ever.

Zain Rajani is a student at Conestoga College in the Community Social Services Management post-graduate program. He currently has a Diploma in the College's Public Relations program.

Zain is a researcher at HopeSpring Cancer Support Centre. Studying and understanding the barriers for men for cancer screenings and cancer support groups, Zain has discovered the significance of the relationship between men and their health care provider and how it can help men overcome those barriers.  

Zain is an advocate for mental health and hopes his skills and expertise can contribute to ending the stigma. Through his volunteer experience, Zain has enjoyed learning, along with HopeSpring, how to further reduce the stigma, help improve men's mental health and quality of life.

Tammy Lawrence-Cymbalisty, B.A., is a Certified Yoga Teacher and Alternative Healing Practitioner living in Cambridge.  

Tammy teaches Gentle Yoga, Meditation classes and facilitates the Women's Cancer Support Group.  She has been with HopeSpring since 2005.

"I'm so grateful to be a part of this community.  I have met some amazing people through my years of being a part of the HopeSpring Cancer Support Center.  It has been a pleasure to offer members support during their healing journey.  My hope is for individuals to know they are supported as they work towards improving their emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.  

I enjoy meeting participants in the Women's Support Group to hear about their experiences and find it wonderful to observe how fully the members compassionately support one another.  I love introducing a variety of meditation techniques and hearing about the 'ah-ha' moments that come from classes.  During Yoga it's amazing to observe individuals releasing layers of holding and the freedom they can discover in their body & mind through movement and breath.  It's important for people to know they aren't alone as they walk through this experience."


Over 13.3 million people - 47% of Canadians aged 15 and over—did volunteer work in 2010 (Source: Volunteering in Canada).Volunteers power HopeSpring, from delivering programs and services, to supporting our centre, support our members and performing administrative tasks.  

Are you interested in giving back to your community? Here are a list of volunteers who support HopeSpring. To apply, please use the green buttons below. We'd love to have you join us.

Volunteer Positions:

Volunteer PositionDescriptionHow do I apply?
Board of Directors/Committee Members
The Board is made up of a group of volunteers who use their skills and experience to govern and provide direction to HopeSpring staff.

Volunteer PositionDescriptionHow do I apply?
Administrative AssistantThe Administrative Assistant Volunteer is responsible for the day-to-day centre activities at HopeSpring. This position includes greeting and interacting with our members, providing individual caring support, booking relaxation appointments, taking registrations for programs, general housekeeping duties and providing wig and camisole fittings.

Certified Relaxation PractitionerPractitioners of Reiki, Reflexology, Massage Therapy and Therapeutic Touch volunteer their skills and deliver regular sessions to the HopeSpring community. Their unique skills are gratefully received by many HopeSpring members.

Indigenous Cancer Care Support Assistant
This volunteer position will liaise with Indigenous groups to help navigate HopeSpring programs and services and provide community referrals throughout their cancer journeys.
Outreach/Promotional Material DistributionThis volunteer position will assist by reaching out to our community and delivering promotional materials. Community Outreach volunteers respond to community requests to talk to organizations about HopeSpring's services and programs. 

Peer Support VolunteerPeer support volunteers are cancer survivors and are at least 1 year since their last treatment. They meet with members or family members to share specific experiences related to their cancer treatment. Peer support volunteers provide a valuable connection.

Program Assistant & Program FacilitatorThese volunteer positions deliver and support the delivery of our programs.
Registered DietitianThis volunteer position will provide educational information on how to cook healthy to ease the common discomforts from cancer treatment.
Registered Practical Nurse This volunteer position will perform clinical assessments of cancer patients and recommend appropriate treatment tending to wound care, bed sores, and tunnel/vacuum dressings. The incumbent will plan, organize, and oversee an education program for cancer patients. The incumbent must be College of Nurses of Ontario member in good standing.

Sewers and KnittersWe are looking for sewers and knitters to create turbans, head coverings, quilts, afghans and knitted hats for our members. These volunteers use their talents and gifts to put a smile on our members' faces.
Special Event & AmbassadorsSpecial Events Volunteers take care of important tasks during our program and fundraising events. Some of these volunteers assist on one committee to raise funds each year. Other volunteers are available to help promote and staff our many program events. 

Youth Social Worker
This volunteer position will plan, organize, and oversee youth exercise activities for Puddle Jumpers program in Cambridge to help youth understand cancer, develop coping skills, and express their emotional well-being. The incumbent must have bachelor’s degree in Social Work or Psychology.

We rely on the kindness of volunteers for every facet of our organization. If you have questions about volunteering with HopeSpring, please contact Volunteer@Hopespring.ca.

Tell us why you volunteer

Why do you Volunteer?

Why do you Volunteer?
11 votes

To give back

12 votes

To help others

12 votes

To make a difference in my community

3 votes

To get my 40 hours of community service for high school

1 vote

As part of my post-secondary school program

Total: 39 votes

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