In 2010, the LIVESTRONG Foundation initiated the Comparte tu Historia project in Mexico with the goal of raising awareness of the global cancer burden and reducing the stigma associated with cancer. In its first 18 months, the campaign had significant results and changed perceptions about the disease. LIVESTRONG Foundation Global Fellow, Fernando Rodriguez, oversaw the communications and social media aspects of the project in Mexico. He and our International Program Manager, Rebekkah Schear, are highlighting some of campaign’s successes in the upcoming weeks.
by Fernando Rodriguez Hernandez & Rebekkah Schear
Many people feel an enormous burden when they are diagnosed with cancer, and in countries like Mexico, some never return to their doctor to follow through with treatment or receive supportive care because of fear or stigma. But fear and stigma don’t just negatively impact a survivor’s quality of life; they also impact the global fight against cancer. Think about it this way: this fight is comprised of millions of stories, stories of hope and of life; stories of courage and empowerment, and we need every story to change the course of cancer history.
Rewind to a time in your life when you heard a story that someone shared with you when you were in a difficult situation. Did they offer words of wisdom? Share their own experience? Could you relate to their challenge? Did you apply their lessons learned to your own life?
Often, hearing about someone else’s challenges and how they dealt with them changes our perspective on our own problems and gives us the opportunity to see a solution. When it comes to cancer, the stories of other survivors, families, and caregivers can be a stronger source of hope and inspiration that we even imagine.
Every time a survivor story reaches another person, some impact is made. Regardless of country, culture, or community, sharing our stories is a powerful way to grow the movement against cancer. Like a pebble creates ripples in a pond, when someone shares their story, the effects can be far-reaching. Perhaps someone is inspired to visit their doctor; help someone in their community find information; start an organization.
We are a community of survivors, healthcare providers, supporters, caretakers, advocates, social media users, and leaders. And we live in a digital age. Our words are powerful. We can change the way cancer is fought by using the most effective tool we have: our voices.
Learn how Karen shared her story in Mexico to impact her local community: