Living with cancer for over 25 years has given me a lot of insight and perspective that I don't think others have. I've struggled with living with cancer in so many ways and one of those ways is "what can I do with this?" My first diagnosis in 1992 at the age of 19 with Hodgkins Lymphoma left me feeling lost and like an outsider in my own life. Then fast forward to stage 1 breast cancer in 2004, stage 2 in 2011 and stage 4 in 2015 and you can only imagine the inner emotional and mental turmoil that this all comes with.
After sharing my story with a healthcare senate committee on the issue of health insurance reform, I felt a moment of empowerment. I felt heard and I witnessed for the first time people listening to me in order to help effect change on an important issue. My story was impactful and could make a difference. But I didn't know how to do share my story on a more regular basis. I didn't know where to go from there. Then while listening to a speaker at an American Cancer Society Relay for Life event, talk about the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS-CAN), I had that aha moment.
ACS-CAN provides survivors and caregivers and others with the tools and avenues for advocating for research funding, accessible and affordable and healthcare, palliative care and any and all other issues important to us as survivors. ACS-CAN has made me feel like I have a team behind me and has helped fill my bucket as I move forward in my fight. This is why I choose ACS-CAN as my non-profit for Because I Can. Because I can share my story to help other survivors, to fight for legislative changes and to educate others on all issues cancer related.
Because I Can...I Will ~ Monica T.