The Alpha-1 Association’s Peer Guide Program connects a newly diagnosed Alpha, or someone whose life has been affected by Alpha-1 (Peer), to another Alpha (Guide) with a similar set of circumstances. Through this connection, the Peer has the opportunity to discuss difficulties and issues he/she is experiencing with someone who has already experienced these same issues. The Guide provides emotional support, discusses resources available and enables the Peer to make choices about their health and lifestyle. The Guide listens. A lung affected Alpha is paired with another lung affected Alpha. A parent of a newly diagnosed child is paired with another parent. Someone facing a transplant is paired with someone who has already had a transplant. Caregivers are paired with other caregivers.
The goal of the Peer Guide Program is to provide information, support and resources to Peers, including:
1. Communicating valuable information through discussions, printed material and videos.
2. Helping persons through the emotions encountered by an Alpha-1 diagnosis
3. Sharing fears, concerns and dreams
4. Giving feedback on progress
5. Providing advice when asked for, counsel and support
6. Introducing newly diagnosed Alphas to the Alpha-1 Association and Alpha-1 Foundation.
7. Providing networking with Support Groups and a list of available resources including internet access support
To request a Peer Guide or to find out more about how to become a Peer Guide, contact Cathey Horsak, Director of Community Programs and Outreach, at 1-877-346-3212. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.