Bobby's Coaches

Peer Support for Young Adults Facing Cancer

Bobby’s Coaches is a free program that provides one-on-one peer support for young adults ages 18 to 29 who are being treated for cancer at Duke. The program connects you with peer coaches who were cancer patients themselves and have a unique understanding of what it’s like to be a young adult coping with cancer. They are trained to help you navigate your journey through cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survival and can help you deal with a variety of issues including communicating with providers, finances, career goals, nutrition, exercise, and identity after treatment.

How Bobby’s Coaches Works

How to Get Started
Ask your Duke provider for a referral, or contact Bobby’s Coaches directly by email or phone at 919-613-1164. Our program coordinator will reach out to share information about the program and answer your questions. You will then be matched with a peer coach, and a call with them will be scheduled. 

Communicating with Your Coach
You can interact privately with your coach by phone or text. We use a secure platform that allows you to communicate via phone and direct messages without exchanging personal contact information. Calls can be scheduled weekly or every other week for three to six months.

Conversations to Address Your Needs
Discussions are tailored to your needs and goals. For example, you might need help advocating for yourself with providers, talking about cancer with friends or significant others, or developing strategies to achieve professional goals. Your coach understands what it’s like to confront cancer as a young adult, so you can more easily share experiences around treatments, symptoms, side effects, fears, and hopes.

Learn More About Bobby's Coaches

For more information, please email or call 919-385-0822.

The Person Who Inspired It All

Bobby Menges, a Duke University student and cancer patient at Duke Health, was a tireless advocate for others. Among other endeavors, he served as a mentor for teen patients with chronic health issues. As a cancer patient himself, he was struck by the across-the-board lack of support services for people his age. When he passed away from his illness in 2017, his family honored his legacy by creating Bobby’s Coaches.

Duke Cancer Support Programs

Our cancer support programs help families facing cancer cope with the mental, emotional, and social concerns that may arise during, and in the years after, cancer treatment.

The program is generously supported by the I’m Not Done Yet Foundation and private gifts.

This page was medically reviewed on 08/15/2022