Surviving, and Giving Back.

giveA friend with breast cancer, while still in the middle of her difficult treatment, was already talking about finding ways to ‘give back’ once she felt more herself.
There are so many deeply inspiring stories about of cancer survivors doing just that. Whether it’s a passion for the breast cancer cause, a new empathy for those facing adversity or simply the fresh lease on life one gets from successfully negotiating cancer treatment, cancer survivors are doing wonderfully inspiring things all over the world.
Some are grand gestures – our ladies currently climbing Kilimanjaro for breast cancer awareness for example – and some are less flamboyant, but as vitally important – becoming a patient support volunteer or a helpline consultant.
There’s a big focus on getting active, as women embrace their bodies and their health with renewed appreciation. Dragon Boat racing, marathon running, sponsored walks and climbs are all popular.
There is also a strong trend to challenging oneself, and one’s own perceived abilities. Women are learning to ride motorbikes for charity drives, starting NGO’s to promote awareness and cancer education, or advocating for better treatment programmes and speaking out in communities still very adversely influenced by stigma.
Motivational speaking is one way a lot of cancer survivors are giving back, and simultaneously challenging themselves. Public speaking does not come easily to many of us, but addressing school children, women’s groups, potential funders and medical personnel is never more effective then when done by someone who has faced cancer, and won.
One hears countless stories of survivors who claim cancer ‘brought them out of their shells’, taught them to ‘love life’, ‘empowered’ them to live fully.
There can be no greater way to beat the disease then to take such powerful lessons from your diagnosis, and then use that power to improve the plight of others.
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