LIVESTRONG Leaders are individuals that make a yearly significant commitment to those in their community affected by cancer by spreading the message of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. They do this by fundraising, hosting events, bringing LIVESTRONG Foundation resources to their local hospitals and more. One of our amazing leaders from Puerto Rico, Ramon Corrada, talks about why he is involved with LIVESTRONG and what he is doing in his community to help spread the LIVESTRONG Foundation message.
What’s your name and where are you from?
Ramon Corrada. Vega Alta, Puerto Rico.
What does LIVESTRONG mean to you?
LIVESTRONG, for me, means knowledge, strength and attitude! One of the most powerful phrases in the LIVESTRONG manifesto says: “Unity is strength, Knowledge is Power and Attitude is Everything.” This phrase represents for me everything that is LIVESTRONG.
I have supported and been involved with LIVESTRONG since 2004. I needed guidance and support as a caregiver for my wife Marieli. She was diagnosed in July 2004 with gestational trophoblastic disease. Since 2004, I’ve had the chance to participate in numerous LIVESTRONG events and activities with many fellow supporters. This has provided and continues to provide me with a lot of peace, energy and emotion that is hard to replicate otherwise. It is the STRENGTH of our union that makes us a very powerful organization. Having the privilege to be involved with the Foundation for the past 9 years has been a great experience. I am reminded of all this by looking at my LIVESTRONG bracelet, which I have worn daily, uninterrupted, on my right wrist since July, 2004. This is the ATTITUDE that makes every day fulfilling and wonderful.
Why are you a Leader?
I am a LIVESTRONG Leader in Puerto Rico because I want to be able to facilitate and provide the information and resources of the Foundation to our communities. Since the fight against cancer is a worldwide tough battle, I feel like there is always more that can be done here in Puerto Rico to spread the message of the Foundation, keep fighting, and recruit more volunteers to help fight cancer by raising awareness and funds. Being a leader is making a difference in the fight against cancer in the communities we live.
I have been involved since 2004 with the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the Puerto Rico Cancer Control Coalition in demanding change, raising awareness, fundraising, and educating. I have had the chance to be a Peloton Project member, Advocacy Team member, Grassroots Fundraiser, Ride for the Roses participant, Challenge participant, Team LIVESTRONG member, 2006 & 2008 LIVESTRONG Summit participant, 2009 LIVESTRONG Global Summit participant, 2012 & 2013 LIVESTRONG Assembly participant and LIVESTRONG Puerto Rico leader for the past 6 years.
It is important not to lose the perspective that the Foundation was created to serve the millions of cancer patients and survivors worldwide that are and have been affected by this terrible disease which doesn’t discriminate towards anything or anyone. Being a part of an organization like LIVESTRONG Foundation is a privilege and a very important honor for which I am very proud of.
What are you doing in your community?
In Puerto Rico, during the past few years we have been working hard to raise the awareness of the services provided by the Foundation to the local community. Having a full time job at a local university, a personal product representation business, being the only local leader and working as a volunteer creates a series of challenges that make the process harder but not impossible. However, this has not been an obstacle to make us surrender and forget the mission at hand all these years, which is to promote, raise awareness, and help provide the services of the Foundation to cancer survivors and patients in Puerto Rico, free of charge.
One of the important initiatives of which we have been part of here in Puerto Rico in the last few years is being a member of the Puerto Rico Cancer Control Coalition led by the Comprehensive Cancer Control Center of the University of Puerto Rico. The Coalition is the group of cancer stakeholders (entities and individuals), representative of the Island’s population, which comes together to work toward a common goal: to reduce of the mortality and morbidity of cancer in Puerto Rico. The Coalition is responsible for assessing the cancer status in Puerto Rico, identifying priorities, establish goals to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality, define smart objectives, and select feasible evidence-based strategies to reach those goals. The Coalition is the custodian of the Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan which contains the assessment of the cancer status in Puerto Rico, the priorities in cancer, the defined objectives, and the strategies and activities to reach the established goal. It is the blueprint for comprehensive cancer control in Puerto Rico.
We have also been part of many events in Puerto Rico that have benefited the LIVESTRONG Foundation like the Oakley Puerto Rico Golf Invitationals, many bike rides and other sporting events, as well as being actively involved with the Community Impact Projects and partner campaigns like Movember.
More recently we had one of the biggest and proudest collaborations we had ever done in Puerto Rico. We formed a partnership with the local newspaper Indice to promote LIVESTRONG Day 2013. The collaboration included the cover page of the newspaper on May 17 as well as the center spread with an article showcasing the LIVESTRONG Puerto Rico by over 125 people wearing yellow #STILLSTRONG shirts and over 15,000 hits on Indice’s Facebook and Twitter pages that had LIVESTRONG Day related messages. We also handed out over 450 LIVESTRONG bands near the Comprehensive Cancer Control Center. The article and web features carried a great message for our community on information about the services that the Foundation provides to cancer patients and survivors along.