The Jean Steirn Cancer Program


If you or a loved one is coping with a cancer diagnosis, free therapy and resources may be available if you have limited income.



“We have come to realize that psychological and emotional support is an essential factor in cancer treatment.”
Dr. Michael Schultz, Director, St. Joseph’s Hospital Breast Cancer Center.

For those who are doubly victimized by a cancer diagnosis and a lack of financial resources, The Jean Steirn Cancer Program provides free mental health treatment, linkage to necessary support services in the community and transportation to therapy appointments as necessary. This unique program of The Pro Bono Counseling Project, links uninsured and low-income cancer patients and their caregivers / family members, during any phase of their cancer from diagnosis to post-treatment or survivorship, with insured and licensed mental health therapists at no charge.

The Pro Bono Counseling Project collaborates with multiple service providers throughout the State of Maryland to encourage referrals by educating those who provide care to cancer patients and their families about the availability of free counseling. Educational workshops (and accompanying professional resources) are provided for volunteer clinicians addressing specific mental health concerns critical to cancer patients, survivors and family members. Additionally, evaluation of clients linked with therapists is conducted to determine the impact of psycho-social intervention on cancer patients.

The Jean Steirn Cancer Program is here to help . . .
Please call 410-825-1001 or 1-877-323-5800 to speak with a clinical coordinator. Intake information will be gathered on the telephone to accurately define your counseling needs. Based on your needs, you will be linked with a therapist and/or referred to additional resources. For more information see the Seek Help Page.

Programs of the Jean Steirn Cancer Program

The Jean Steirn Cancer Program has developed sub programs to meet the varying needs of individuals, families and loved ones coping with cancer diagnoses:

Beyond Breast Cancer: funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure Maryland Affiliate supports low income and uninsured individuals, families and loved ones coping with breast cancer diagnoses by linking them with licensed and insured volunteer therapists throughout the state of Maryland.



Families Surviving Cancer Together: our pediatric program, funded by various local foundations, supports low income and uninsured children diagnosed with cancer and their families by linking them with licensed and insured volunteer therapists throughout the state of Maryland.

For more program information, to seek a free in-service training or to receive related materials please contact the Director of Programs and Marketing at

For additional links to cancer support organizations and resources in the surrounding community, please see the Links and Resources section.


In Memory of Jean Steirn

The Pro Bono Counseling Project wants to honor and celebrate the life of Jean Steirn, LCSW-C who succumbed to cancer a few years ago after a valiant fight. She demonstrated courage and hope while she struggled through treatment. Titling the program with her name honors all those victims of this disease who show us how to live and die with dignity. Jean’s husband, David Edwin, Ph.D., is one of the founders of the Pro Bono Counseling Project. David is currently serving as President of the Board of Directors. The name of the program now acknowledges the very personal journey that our clients are taking and we as an organization share while assisting them and their family members. The Jean Steirn Cancer Program exemplifies that cancer strikes every family, and most recently in the Pro Bono Counseling family, someone who is very close to us.

Artwork generously donated by Sandra Magsamen


The History Behind “Where Counseling Comes from the Heart” Logo

In response to artistic requests from Jean Steirn's family members, the Pro Bono Counseling Project swiftly approached Sandra Magsamen, a nationally recognized commercial artist for the charmingly moving work that is her trademark. As a professional artist and a consummate giver to the community, Sandra’s office responded with overwhelming support for the program. In style characteristic of Sandra’s creative work, she extended an additional offer to develop the tag line to accompany the logo that now warmly reads “where counseling comes from the heart.”This tag line is not only an accurate reflection of Sandra and Jean Steirn’s giving ways, but it is a symbolic expression of the Pro Bono Counseling Project’s team of clinicians (1770 plus therapists scattered across the state) who contribute their professional services out of the kindness of their hearts.

When Mr. D requested therapy for himself and his two children, his wife had recently died from breast cancer. His 14-year old son is small for his age and spoke of being bullied recently by his classmates, his grades were suffering and he was isolating himself. After one month, Mr. D reported, “I had no idea how helpful this could be. We actually look forward to it.” They work with a clinical social worker who he described, “Ya’ll could not have picked a better person. I felt as though the compassion was already there the minute we walked in the room.” After three months of therapy, Mr. D reported that the bullying stopped and, “We have started projects to help us cope. Like last weekend we started a flower garden and I couldn’t believe how therapeutic it was.” “We are moving through the grief process together.”

support us
support us