This past Wednesday, we were able to make a great connection between two caregivers. A 23 year old woman, living in Kansas registered with us because her Mom is currently fighting inflammatory breast cancer. She’s been having some complications and wanted to connect with another young woman in her 20s who had a Mom survive inflammatory breast cancer. I was able to reach out to one of our amazing daughter-caregivers who is 25 years old, lives right here in Chicago and has a lot of insight about how to care for her Mom who already beat inflammatory breast cancer nearly 3 years ago! The two young woman are now connected, sharing stories, tips, tricks advice and inspiration to one another!
Jonny’s California roadtrip continued to Vista Middle School in Irvine, California where one of our Fighter Angels attends school. JI spoke in front of the student body, helping them to understand what is going on with their friend and how to show support in the BEST way possible.
Next stop: Burbank for a 3 hour lunch hosted by Survivor Angel, Tammi Audi. Tammi opened her home to 40 cancer fighters and survivors in the IA network! According to Jonny, “It was great to see everyone in person
and have local-LA’ers touched by cancer meet each other, click, and become
friends and keep in touch!!”
Finally, JI rounded out his trip with a 1/2 Marathon in Carlsbad, accompanied by area Angels and volunteers, sporting our Imerman Active jerseys.
(Below) Check out Jonny and the students of Vista Middle School speaking about cancer support!
How do I stay positive? I am inspired everyday by meeting amazing cancer survivors who have overcome SO MUCH and are SO PASSIONATE about giving their stories back to help someone else in the fight!! When I meet a 24 year-old girl in Seattle who tells me that she beat Burkitt’s non-hodgkin’s lymphoma in a her freshman year in college, muscled through it, graduated from college, and now in nursing school and excited to give back as an oncology nurse (and an Imerman Angel!) – I GET PUMMMMMPED UP!!!!! WOW!!! And then our staff and our amazing volunteers who care SO MUCH about changing the cancer world!! I am LUCKY to get to work alongside such crusaders!!!! The STRENGTH is in the team – and this team gets me FIRED-UP EVERYDAY!!!!
At the end of everyday, I walk out of my office with a big smile, knowing that our organization matched-up 10 or 12 people that day, and changed their attitudes and lives, and… I just can’t have a bad day!! I think it’s important for all of us to remember that helping people, in the simplest form, can and will give each of us so much joy, after all, what other reason would we be on this earth if it is isn’t to help each other overcome obstacles and keep well?!!!!! The people around me and the service we provide are a KEY source of my happiness and attitude, and agin I am LUCKY to play on this team of angels!!!!!! Good health and wellness to each of you!!!
Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2010 with a great, busy week! Thus far, we’ve had 34 cancer fighters and 7 caregivers reach out for 1on1 support. We’ve completed 25 pair-up connections this week so far!
The pair-up that I would like to highlight is pretty unique. A 26 year old guy from Washington fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma reached out looking to connect not only with another Hodgkin’s survivor but someone who was an athlete, specifically, a cyclist. He wanted to chat with someone who got back on the bike while going through treatment. He had some questions about how long they waited, if they were able to ride while on treatment, etc… Well, we found him two great athlete survivors to chat with!
First, I connected him with “Wheels.” I met Wheels (her camp nickname) this past summer at First Descents. She was one of my closest buddies at camp and she lives in Colorado Springs, CO. She’s a Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor, had it while she was in her late 20’s and she’s 30 years old now – doing great, healthy again and finishing up her PhD in psychology. Wheels got her nickname because she’s a huge cyclist. On her time off, she’s also a training coach AND she won a national championship 11 months after her diagnosis.
Next, I connected him with another guy living in NY who had Hodgkin’s when he was 30 years old. He was also an athlete – he played hockey and lifted weights. I thought he could shed some light on his experience with balancing treatment and his sport guy-to-guy.
Needless to say, these were two great connections. We not only pair-up based on age, gender, cancer type and stage level but we also try to specialize the connection based on the needs of the cancer fighter. Perhaps someone is looking for another athlete, or someone who did alternative medicine, or maybe another single mom with kids. We always do our best to meet these needs.
Again, if you and/or someone you know has been touched by cancer – please don’t hesitate to reach out. The first step is to register online from our homepage please click on “GET CONNECTED.” We’d be happy to get you connected to another survivor and/or register you in our network so that you can help mentor-angel someone else who is newly diagnosed.
Wishing all of you a wonderful, healthy year in 2010!