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Why I Write for Health Union (And Encourage Others To) — Part II

This is Part II of the article series “Why I Write for Health Union (And Encourage Others To)“.

Health Union provides a powerful platform

One of the benefits of writing for Health Union is that they provide the audience to get my message out. Of course, our nonprofit has a website, Facebook page, etc. Unfortunately, these social media sites are increasingly squeezing money out of organizations trying to reach their audiences. Promoting articles on these sites could quickly wipe out our nonprofit’s meager funds, rendering us unable to further our mission.

What I love about Health Union is that they will promote my articles. They give me a solid platform to share my every message.

Camaraderie and support

As the co-leader of the Lung Cancer Action Network, I have many opportunities to work with a lot of lung cancer nonprofits. I don’t view them as competition; on the contrary, I see them as colleagues with shared overarching values and goals. We also collaboratively work on several projects. Granted, we have unique brands, personalities, mission statements, etc. But we all work toward improving lives for people impacted by lung cancer.

Likewise, even though there are many advocates writing for Health Union, they are not competition. They are respected as fellow advocates with a unique voice.

Sara and others at Health Union are ready to help with any issue or problem that arises. Recently I noticed a typo in a subheading in one of my articles. I sent a message to Sara and it was immediately corrected. Health Union also brings their writers and moderators together annually at their Philadelphia headquarters.

Health Union is not a nonprofit

When Sara first reached out to me, her message included the following sentence: “And of course, we do compensate our contributors and moderators for their time.”

Before my lung cancer diagnosis, I had a very good job and earned a nice salary. When my department was eliminated, during a tough national economic downturn, I decided to start my nonprofit in 2010.

To help make ends meet so I could continue my advocacy work, I would drive for Uber evenings and weekends. I still do that some, but not as much. Now, instead of driving for Uber, I can sit down and write an article. It’s much more meaningful and, frankly, a better use of my time and talents. (Anyone can drive for Uber. Not everyone has personal experience with lung cancer.)

I absolutely love and appreciate all the lung cancer non-profits. I know many of them have paid staff and I understand the need for them. These organizations are essential to our movement. These nonprofits are funding lung cancer research, giving gift bags to new patients, conducting support groups meetings and many, many other activities. While these nonprofits may not pay advocates for their contributions, I trust they can appreciate Health Union’s contribution to these advocates. After all, so many of the lung cancer patients I know face insurmountable financial hardships.

I appreciate that Health Union is a business that supports dedicated advocates and helps allow us to be even more effective than we would otherwise be. It also helps us pay our bills.

No one is going to get wealthy writing for Health Union, but you may be able to make a car payment or health insurance premium or go out to dinner or buy a new outfit. I have not researched it, but I believe that many people impacted by lung cancer have more financial hardships than people facing other diseases. (Let me add that to my list of potential story ideas!) Health Union relieves a little of that sting.

Feelings of gratitude and hope

There is no shame in being paid for your work. After more than a decade of contributing to lung cancer advocacy without pay, I am grateful for the opportunity now to write about my passion, not write if I don’t have the time or inclination, develop meaningful relationships with awesome like-minded folks, be given a platform to get my message out, and get paid for doing it! That is why I write for Health Union and encourage others to do so, as well.

Read the first part of “Why I Write for Health Union (And Encourage Others To)” here.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.