Buddy System

A local woman fights cancer with Chemo Buddies


Katya Lezin says cancer patients should not have to go through chemo alone.


Forced to endure 10-hour days of chemotherapy while battling ovarian cancer, Katya Lezin was grateful she was never alone at the hospital. Friends and family signed up to make sure someone was always there, often with baskets full of goodies. But Lezin, a writer and mother of three, noticed that fellow patients weren’t as fortunate. So days after she finished five months of treatment, she was back at the Levine Cancer Institute meeting with hospital administrators. She created Chemo Buddies, a volunteer program that kicked off last November. The goal: simple companionship. “No one should have to do this alone,” Lezin says.

Patients can request volunteers—whom Lezin helps train—to accompany them during their treatments. On average, about 20 patients per day use the buddies program, and as of February, there were 17 volunteers. (For more info, call the CMC volunteer office at 704-355-6188.)

Lezin documented her battle against cancer and the genesis of the buddies program in a memoir, But I Just Grew Out My Bangs! A Cancer Tale. “I wouldn’t have picked to go on this ride, but Chemo Buddies makes it feel worthwhile,” she says.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Medical Wears Start-Up UNYQ Finds East Coast Home in Charlotte

A global maker of orthopedic devices chose Charlotte over the more established Research Triangle for its regional headquarters. Can it start a med tech movement as it straightens spines?

Canvas Tattoo Talks Business of Body Art

NoDa spot opened in 2017

PHOTOS: Scenes Around Charlotte (June 2019)

5 posts on our Instagram account that have people talking

Flying Spirit: A Review of Charlotte’s Newest Budget Airline

A play-by-play of our editor's first ride

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More >> Partner Content

How to Explore Uptown Charlotte’s Public Art and Newest Murals

In partnership with Charlotte Center City Partners.

Where to Get Fast, Healthy Food in Charlotte

In partnership with B.GOOD.

Sign Up for our E-Newsletters

Stay in-the-know on restaurant openings, things to do, and all things Charlotte with our handy newsletters. SIGN UP HERE

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags