How Cancer Companions Gave Me Peace

Valerie Riese
Victory Through Surrender
3 min readSep 24, 2020


When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I knew I’d need Jesus, and I knew I couldn’t get through it alone. Along with friends and family, my prayer partner from Cancer Companions gave me strength. Now, I’m excited to share my story to help Cancer Companions reach more cancer families.

Searching for Support

I didn’t know anyone who had gone through breast cancer, so I contacted the American Cancer Society to participate in their program that partners current patients with survivors with a similar diagnosis.

I was amazed and disappointed to learn they could not assign a Christian cancer survivor to me.

I tell you this not to speak poorly of the American Cancer Society. They were an amazing help to me. The nurses were patient and informative. They helped me understand my diagnosis and my treatment options so I could make better decisions. By relying solely on their online and printed resources, I got off Google and away from cancer to live my life.

But how a person can get through cancer without Jesus is beyond me.

The big thing that I learned after all those years of working with cancer families is that you can’t let cancer become the most important thing in your life. You have to let the most important things in your life help you cope with cancer. At Cancer Companions, we believe the best thing to used to cope with cancer is Jesus Christ. — Karen Tripp

About Cancer Companions

Cancer Companions fills this need by training volunteers to host church ministries that support patients and families affected by cancer. I learned they did not have a church ministry in my area, but the founder, Karen Tripp, wouldn’t let me fall through the cracks.

She found Michele, a caring, compassionate woman from a neighboring state. Michele walked me through the program over the phone. She helped me keep my focus on Jesus. Cancer is hard no matter what, but Michele helped me lean on Jesus and keep a level head. With her help, I learned what it means to have His peace beyond understanding.

Cancer Companions Resources

The Prayer Partners ministry revolves around Karen’s book, God is Bigger Than Your Cancer and the God is Bigger Than Your Cancer Work Book. Both resources were invaluable.

The book God is Bigger Than Your Cancerprovides scripturally sound answers to questions that stalk cancer patients and their loved ones:. For me, the most helpful part of the book was the testimonies of cancer patients at the end of each chapter. Their experiences made mine easier by telling me exactly how I could lean on Jesus.

I had the privilege of doing a 3-minute promotional video for Cancer Companions about my experience with their Prayer Partners program.

How you can help

My friends, if you or someone you love is going through cancer, please tell them about Cancer Companions so they can draw strength from Jesus.

Even if you don’t know anyone, please share this post so cancer families can use Jesus Christ to cope.



Valerie Riese
Victory Through Surrender

Co-director of Candidly Christian. After suffering years of debilitating anxiety, I learned that victory over anxiety comes only through surrender to Jesus.