Since publishing my web site and blog, many doors into cancer advocacy have opened for me and I’ve met many wonderful people. I’ve since communicated with over 500 people who have been diagnosed with and who are battling appendix cancer.
Since making the decision to publish my web site and to remain in the cancer community these things have happened in my life:
My cancer story was on the front page of our local newspaper on Easter Sunday last year.
My blog was discovered by an editor and was featured in the Cancer Blog section of CR Magazine.
My daughter’s senior class used my story for a chapter in a book they wrote “Heroes Among Us”. She and her teenage friends also helped make thousands of appendix cancer ribbons that we’ve distributed via my web site.
I was asked by a woman who found my web site to participate in Medpedia, an online medical encyclopedia currently under construction.
My blog was discovered by Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge MD, PhD and I was asked to participate in Wellsphere as a healthcare blogger in their new online medical community.
A kidney cancer survivor found my web site. It turned out she is heavily involved in cancer advocacy at the state level in Indiana. She was part of the Scientist Survivor Program through the American Association of Cancer Research and encouraged me to apply to participate in the program. I applied, was accepted and was privileged to attend the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in San Diego this year, where I learned much from cancer research scientists and other cancer advocates from all over the world. I will attend another AACR Meeting in Washington DC next month. Being involved with the AACR Scientist-Survivor program has expanded my world and advocacy efforts in many ways.
My involvement in the Scientist Survivor Program has lead me to become involved with the legislative process as it affects cancer via my local Cancer Action Network as a Legislative Ambassador.
I was recently nominated as an innovator for my work in cancer advocacy and was chosen to become one of the select members of The Society of Innovators of the Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center in Northwest Indiana. I will be inducted at an event next week, it is truly a great honor.
I have received thousands of emails from cancer patients who have benefited from my web site and blog. I recently received an email with this link to a news article about a woman who had planned her funeral before discovering my web site Exclusive: Dying with cancer, then I found a cure on the Internet. Dawn wrote me after the article weas published. Stories like that give purpose to my cancer experience and survival, they are truly gifts. I cherish them. I know I am truly blessed.
My work in cancer advocacy since my own diagnosis and survival has helped me grow and given purpose and meaning to my life. I have been very honored by the people I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve been given.
All of this happened after I made the one scary decision to try to construct a web site, something that was so out of my league in every way just a couple of years ago.
I would have never guessed then it would have led me to where my life is now.
Everything I’ve talked about here has led me to one more venture, my greatest venture, in cancer advocacy. It’s bigger and more intimidating than creating my web site. I will talk about that venture in my next post.