20-year survivorSave as Favorite
I am writing because I really have reached to total level on frustration. I was diagnosed with terminal cancer on December 12, 1990. I was only three months shy of my 17th birthday and was a star athlete in basketball and baseball where I was already being recruited after my sophomore year.
I am now 37 and live on Long Island. I suffer from Crohn’s disease, Lymphodema and Hemochromotosis as a result of the treatment. In 2008 I was forced to go on disability since I no longer could consistently attend work. I had spent the previous 10 years as a researcher for ESPN, a job and a company that I loved dearly and who treated me very well. As you can imagine, being on disability in today’s economy is rough, however the good Lord has blessed me by giving me the perseverance to survive and the desire to reach and help others with my experiences.
My story is powerful, and one that I believe can touch others and give hope to many who need hope and suffering with similar experiences. My journey is not over, and I believe I have a responsibility to encourage others and speak of the power of prayer, love and perseverance. Hope is a powerful emotion, and just a little can turn a life around.
What I am looking for is a chance to be a spokesperson for organizations that wish to raise money for cancer research/survivors/patients/families. I am a very good public speaker and know that if I was put in front of a business or individuals with the premise being fund raising, I would rake in the dollars.
Sometimes I feel like a total failure, because surviving cancer is more of a scarlet letter than something to be proud of. Because of this disease, I can no longer support my family, I have mountains of medical debt, and disability is a joke and soon might be eliminated all together. Now I'm left to suffer because I survived. The treatment permanently affected me.
I have a powerful story. I can be a very strong asset and I can DEFINITELY help those who need hope and who need to see someone who suffered through just about everything a cancer patient could, and yet still survives. What I am looking to do is to be able to visit hospitals, organizations, anything, that can hear me and see me and be motivated to go out and donate time, money and perhaps their story to help others who are suffering.
Tell me, what is someone in my position supposed to do? I can't LEGALLY work while on disability, without them going through an arduous process that would then subtract or possibly eliminate the minuscule amount that disability pays, while having to work at something that I can't possibly commit to.
Why can't someone with my story catch a break within the cancer community? How do I make myself more known? All I have is my story and experiences which certainly make me an "expert" on the topic, so if someone is looking for that, I should automatically be at the top of their list. Problem is I have no clue what to do. How do I do this?
I started a website in April www.cancersurvivorfund.com and am trying to start a for profit organization. There are way too many red flags with non-profits that make it impossible for me to start one. However, since the site has been up, not one person (if anyone has seen it) has donated yet because they can't get tax breaks, and the entire circulation of a parchment like this is very confusing.
Bottom line with me is I have a pure heart to try and make a difference for people who need help like I do. Problem is, I have no idea how to make this happen, and no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to find people that can lead me to the right avenues to get this started and get me in front of people who want to donate and let them hear my story.