Posted by Mercedes Arteaga on November 30, 2010
Through Central America and beyond, the cancer support community has been actively celebrating life and we have photos to prove it! The patient associations in the region have had one or more awareness events in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Ecuador and Colombia.
Asopaleu, the patient group in Guatemala City held their Celebration of Life in hospital San Juan De Dios, where cancer survivors, healthcare personnel, and families bonded together, sharing love, support and common experiences, all while collecting signatures for the World Cancer Declaration.
Una Voz Contra El Cancer (A Voice Against Cancer) from Guatemala also joined the Maximize Life Campaign this year. They held community seminars sharing general cancer facts and breast cancer specific information. At each of the seminars, the audience enthusiastically added their names to the World Cancer Declaration and sent support messages for cancer survivors. El Salvador: Artistic groups singing and dancing were highlights at the awareness event in El Salvador where cancer survivors, friends, family and healthcare providers gathered at the Hospital Rosales for a speech by Dr. Orellana about living with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
In Honduras, the patient group organized a gathering of cancer survivors of all ages and publicized the importance of the World Cancer Declaration locally. Families came together to signify their hope and appreciation for each other and their ability to rise above cancer.
Cancer survivors in Nicaragua shared celebrating life with dances, gave personal testimonials to inspire each other, and added their messages on the tribute wall for cancer survivors everywhere.
The association Esperanza Viva from Bucaramanga, Colombia maximized life in two ways this October. First, they had a Celebration of Life gathering for cancer survivors, families and friends so everyone could come together and dance! While they were rising above their cancer diagnoses through dance, they took time to share their personal testimonials with each other.
Next, the Esperanza Viva patient group leader invited pediatric cancer survivors to a workshop on how to create a story to share with other children. A famous story teller from the Universidad Industrial de Santader, Andres Bravo conducted the workshop with the goal of transforming suffering into hope. As a result of the children’s talent, the group hopes to make their collective stories into a published book.
Esperanza y Vida (Hope and Life), the patient association in Ecuador joined the Maximize Life Campaign by keeping up with their annual tradition of organizing a cancer awareness walk through town, and adding in the collection of signatures to the World Cancer Declaration.