Lung Cancer Activism
It never crossed my mind I would be called to lung cancer activism. It all started just sharing my story with Lung Cancer Canada. At the same time, I came to know the community group of LungCancer.net. Both of these active organizations have touched me to spread lung cancer awareness and inspire fellow patients. More involvement has opened up. I am quite thankful to be of service as a survivor.
Hope Army recruit
We are a group of lung cancer patients and supporters in Canada who conquers lung cancer and uses our actions for lung cancer wakefulness. During the lung cancer awareness month in November 2020, this group was formed by Lung Cancer Canada. We celebrated via Zoom at its inception. There was even an event of choosing an official T-shirt design plus an official face mask showing the words Hope Army. We have been using our own social media to complete our missions that include joining events and advocacy. The group put so much hope for me to live and make a difference.
Peer to peer support
You would not believe, I joined this cause exactly on my 57th birthday. That means this happened at the beginning of 2021. Lung Cancer Canada pairs you with a fellow lung cancer patient from another city. There is always a great connection once you are paired with another survivor. It felt you have known each other for a very long time. How can you easily open up to a stranger? Yet, you have that immediate trust in sharing your own lung cancer footprints. I have gained a lung cancer sister. We share the ups and downs of our cancer journey.
Supporting lung cancer research funds
I have been told many times that at a short time after my diagnosis, I was able to raise money for lung cancer research through Lung Cancer Canada’s Geoffrey Ogram Memorial Research Fund. Dr. Geoffrey Ogram was a six-year lung cancer survivor but later succumbed to the illness. But before he passed on he was a tireless lung cancer activist especially the Lung Cancer Canada. I chose to support his cause to spread awareness that lung cancer research gets less funding even though many lives are taken away by the illness. I am blessed my first lung cancer fundraising was mainly supported by my family, friends, and fellow patients.
The White Ribbon Project
The Onda family spearheaded the White Ribbon Project's onset. Later it became a movement for lung cancer awareness. Lung cancer patients and caregivers from Canada, the USA, and some parts of the world are showing on social media the White Ribbon Project emphasizing its history and essence. The moment it was my turn to hold the ribbon, I felt the ribbon represent who I am.
One good thing about COVID-19 is I have discovered my passion for publicly sharing my cancer journey. Hence vested in the role to be a community advocate. It is my hope that my treatment will prolong my life. Thus, will keep touching fellow patients through writing.
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