Patient Advocate and Communication : Piarella Peralta

My name is Piarella Peralta. I am a social psychologist and proud mother of two, living in Leiderdorp with my wonderful husband, Tiemo, and our beautiful children, Pieter (6) and Penélope (1.5).

I have been involved with inspire2live since 2010, after my family experienced firsthand the tragedy of cancer. Before my father lost his life to this terrible disease, he often tended to show more concern for others who were also contending with a cancer diagnosis than for himself. Since he had always been a very strong man, the difficulty of his own struggle made him feel great compassion for others who were not as strong.

In this way, he encouraged me to broaden my concern and think about cancer, not just as his and our family’s personal tragedy, but a global epidemic that claims more than seven million lives each year.

Like Peter and many at inspire2live, I am a dreamer. I dream of a world in the not­ so­ distant future where we no longer have to fear that cancer will take our life or that of our loved ones. Endeavoring to make that dream reality, I began to work with inspire2live and its Costa Rican fundraiser Poás 8 (Pocho) with the idea that everyone can make a contribution in the fight against cancer.

I have received great support for these activities from my employer, the Instituut voor Interventiekunde in Amsterdam. In my profession, I specialize on appreciative inquiry. Much like current cancer research emphasizes the study of healthy cells to understand how to combat neoplastic cells, I focus on the positive aspects of life to promote improvement.

It is my hope to contribute to inspire2live’s Patient Advocacy programme so that it continues to expand its reach to bring much-needed support to more and more cancer patients throughout the world. I believe that effective change is best achieved by engaging all stakeholders and in this case in particular, the patient’s perspective.