I don't think I've told you all this yet, but I'm now a columnist for Cure Magazine! It's a true honor. I've partnered with Cure for many years, they often looked to collaborate when I worked as the Communications Director for Fight CRC. It was fun to help them find stories about colorectal cancer to share.
Now, I get to share my own stories through their site!
Here's my latest article that encourages survivors to share their stories. Enjoy!
Telling Our Stories Makes The Disease Real
One of my high school classmates is currently in the hospital fighting COVID-19. I haven't talked to him since we graduated 18 years ago, but thanks to Facebook, we're still connected. A few days ago, he posted a video from his couch saying he felt awful and had been diagnosed with COVID-19. "It's worse than the flu," he said. Later that night, his situation worsened and he went to the ER. A follow-up live video showed him in a scene I'm all too familiar with as a cancer survivor - lying in a hospital bed with IV poles, beeping machines and heart rate monitors all around him. His breath was labored, his face red, and he shared he hadn't slept well for days. Looking into his eyes, I felt bad for him and I heard his message loud and clear: "Take the coronavirus seriously."
I can't be his only Facebook friend who watched his vulnerable videos and then made a stronger effort to socially distance, wear a mask and wash my hands. They were very compelling. Before he shared his experience, I'd only personally known of one other person to get sick with COVID-19, and that person didn't seem to have the same extreme symptoms. I'm not in a "hot spot" area with a widespread outbreak — yet. Although I've been reading the statistics and supportive of public health efforts to contain the disease, it felt much more real when my classmate showed us how awful he felt through video. It also reminded me of the research presented at the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) a few years ago.
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