Podcasts offer inspiration and hope to people of faith touched by cancer and COVID-19

Rev. Percy McCray
In a series of podcasts, the Rev. Percy W. McCray Jr. offers messages of hope to those touched by cancer and COVID-19.

As the whole world begins to grapple with a new normal amid the COVID-19 outbreak, some people of faith are looking to their spirituality for additional mental and emotional support. Schools, churches and community centers have been on lock down. Business have closed and jobs lost. Thousands have died from the virus. Add cancer to the equation, and your faith may be shaken. In his award-winning Health, Hope & Inspiration podcast, the Rev. Percy W. McCray Jr., National Director of Faith-Based Programs at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), offers advice and messages of hope to those touched by COVID-19 and cancer.

In a series of podcasts beginning April 18, Rev. McCray discusses ways people of faith and others can look beyond disease and “tap into their spiritual beliefs,” to potentially be strengthened by them. “What we’re trying to do here is to provide support and encouragement to people in the cancer community who may also be impacted by the novel coronavirus,” Rev. McCray says. Here’s a schedule and description of the next four Health, Hope & Inspiration podcasts:

April 18: Spiritual personal protection equipment for cancer and COVID-19

Masks, respirators and other personal protective equipment (PPE) designed to protect health care workers and patients from exposure to the virus are in short supply across the country. In this podcast, Rev. McCray suggests people also remember their spiritual PPE, “the equipment that God has given us to help fight the spiritual battle of the mind and of the heart that happens alongside any physical battle.”

Apr. 25: Losing a cancer patient to COVID-19

Cancer patients infected with COVID-19 may have more severe symptoms and poorer outcomes than others. Rev. McCray suggests family and friends of people who have passed focus not on how they died, but on how they lived and the courage it took to battle both diseases. “Cancer can really push a person to have to dig deep, and this virus is no different,” he says. “The courage of the journey cannot be understated and should be acknowledged.”

May 2: Spiritual leaders dealing with cancer and COVID-19

Priests, ministers, rabbis and other faith leaders are not immune to disease. “Pastors and spiritual leaders will face sickness in this life, be it cancer or COVID-19 or something else,” Rev. McCray says. “It does not prove a lack of faith on their part or a lack of faithfulness on God’s part.” In this podcast, Rev. McCray reminds listeners that “good and bad things happen to everyone,” and not to look to blame God or others for the loss of a spiritual leader.

May 9: Supporting cancer patients with COVID-19

People of faith who have been diagnosed with cancer and then get infected with another illness, such as COVID-19, may be especially overcome with feelings of guilt or the sense that they are being judged by others or are being punished, Rev. McCray says. “People often already feel condemned, as if it must be their fault that they are dealing with these diseases,” he says. “Do not judge or blame them, and do not let them blame themselves.”

To listen to these and other installments of the Health, Hope & Inspiration podcasts, go to https://www.healthhopeandinspiration.com.

If you are a cancer survivor or in active treatment and are concerned about how the COVID-19 situation may impact you or your care, please contact your care team.

Learn more about how spiritual support may help during the COVID-19 outbreak.