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 and Rebekkah Schear:
In the last three blogs we have shared from Mexico City, we’ve been talking about the impact of “Comparte tu Historia,” the Foundation’s anti-stigma campaign in Mexico. Today, we bring you the story of José Chema Marti, a lymphoma survivor, who shares his cancer experience through the gift of music.
Watch his story:
Through Comparte tu Historia, we continue to encourage communities in Mexico to talk more openly about cancer. One of the best ways to break through silence and stigma surrounding cancer in Mexico is through music. Chema’s songs tell stories. They talk about living with and through cancer. They broach a subject that is challenging to discuss. His songs weave together words and rhythms and notes into something complex and unique. And if we think about it, a survivor’s cancer journey is also a complex and unique weaving together of elements. So in many ways, the cancer community is here to help survivors compose and play their songs of hope, or their personal stories, by creating an environment where they can share these experiences openly and bravely.
Cancer changes our lives in many different ways and by sharing our unique “melodies” we start to hear a beautiful composition. Imagine the music we hear from the millions of survivors’ songs of hope around the world. Some of these melodies are about the importance of support from family and friends, the value of early diagnosis, or how having a positive attitude can change your perception about cancer. Some are about living with cancer and finding strength in the everyday, or in fighting the challenging physical and emotional effects of treatment. Some are songs of honor for those who we remember and inspire us to live fully and completely.
The spirit of the LIVESTRONG Foundation grows every day with you, with your experience, your power, your story, your melody. Each one of you contributes to the global musical masterpiece with your song. Let’s keep the music playing.