Join Candice and Team LIVESTRONG at the LIVESTRONG Challenge Austin this October. Can’t make it to Austin? Run, ride or tri with us in 2012 or 2013. Visit www.teamlivestrong.org for more information.
What is your name and where are you from?
Candice Toll Aaron, moved to Chicago a few months ago, but I’m from Michigan originally and spent the last 10 years in Philly.
How have you been affected by cancer?
I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer almost a 6 years ago… so I’m a 5 year survivor. It had spread beyond the capsule of my thyroid quite a bit, but I was pronounced clean on 12/27/2006, but as a result I’m checked very frequently for recurrence.
Have you taken part in an event with LIVESTRONG?
I became involved with LIVESTRONG in 2009, when I joined the LIVESTRONG Young Leader’s Cancer Council as its Vice Chairperson. I’m now the Chairperson. I have completed 3 Philly LIVESTRONG Challenges, 3 Austin LIVESTRONG Challenges, and last year for my 5th Cancerversary, I ran and rode 250 miles for LIVESTRONG over the summer with a team of people (2 Challenges running and riding and a 200 mile RAGNAR relay as a LIVESTRONG team). I also have participated in various other events like LIVESTRONG Days, the Summit, corporate events like the GE Health Fairs ( I work at GE) and some non-sporting events like the art auction they had a few years ago. I had some pretty major surgery earlier this year so I’m just riding one of the shorter distances this year but I’m still living strong despite the bumps in the road this year!
Have you used LIVESTRONG services?
I have given away more LIVESTRONG Guidebooks than I can count. They are tremendously helpful to survivors and fighters – they’re a reminder you’re not alone, that an entire team of people have your back, and they give you small, easy-to-do, practical actions that help you take ownership of your experience.
What does LIVESTRONG mean to you?
LIVESTRONG means that you are not alone in the fight, and to me conveys a message of hope, strength, resilience, and courage to combat the fear, hopelessness and loneliness that a cancer fighter can feel. It flips the stigma of cancer on its head by turning a devastating experience into something that instead empowers you and inspires others.
Name one piece of advice you would give to someone affected by cancer.
You wouldn’t choose this experience, and it is hard, painful, terrifying and miserable. But you can choose hope instead of fear and grace instead of misery, and if you do, you will emerge from this experience stronger, happier, empowered, courageous and knowing that you can face and beat anything.