October is my favorite month of the year. It marks a changing of the seasons in both the southern and northern hemispheres that brings a sense of reflection and excitement. As such, there could not be a more appropriate month to celebrate theMaximize Life Global Cancer Awareness Campaign, an initiative that encourages people impacted by cancer to reflect on their experiences, celebrates their resiliency, and share their stories with the world.
Why is it valuable to tell our story? Sharing our stories is a transformative process for ourselves and the people with whom we choose to share them. On a personal level, it allows the storyteller to name their experience. In doing so it provides us the potential to transcend our experience, using it to encourage others facing similar hardship. Finding courage in the face of a cancer diagnosis, maintaining hope through the darkest periods of treatment, strengthening ties with loved ones or lost friends through adversity – these are the stories of millions of seemingly ordinary people around the world, and their voices need to be heard.
This is the core of the 2015 Maximize Life Global Cancer Awareness Campaign – to provide a space for people to share stories with their community in order shine a light on the needs and provide hope for those facing cancer. Thanks to the 71 patients and caregivers who submitted their personal stories to the Maximize Life Essay Contest and the 39 partner organizations of the Max Global Network that will host awareness events in their communities, many of these stories will be shared throughout October. These events will take place in 35 countries throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America.
October is going to be a very full month! In order to capture it all, we’ve created a special 2015 Maximize Life Campaign website to showcase the worldwide events and all the essays submitted to the Maximize Life Essay Contest
Check the webpage weekly for event highlights and the announcements of the winning English, Spanish and French essays to happen throughout October!
Sharing our stories requires honesty and vulnerability and the willingness to put one’s self out there for the sake of encouraging others and raising global awareness about the needs of people living with cancer. We are very grateful for the advocates who chose to share their stories through the Maximize Life Essay Contest and the numerous advocates who will share their stories at public awareness events hosted by our partners of the Max Global Network throughout the month of October. Let the storytelling begin!