On the 8th of January, over 2 500 people came together in 275 cities across 55 different countries for the 3rd annual World Cancer Walk. It was a day full of connections, support, healing, love, and unity.
What brought us together was our understanding. An understanding of what it means to have had cancer touch our lives, either personally or in someone we love. An understanding of the strength needed and exhaustion that comes hand in hand with the battle. An understanding of the grief that comes once we’ve lost someone. An understanding of the jubilance when we hear the words ‘cancer-free’. This understanding was evident in photo after photo that was shared. It was truly remarkable to see so many people in so many different countries come together to support one another just because they understood. Because they cared.
The World Cancer Walk was a special opportunity for people to walk together in support of cancer patients, in memory of those who lost their lives to cancer, and in celebration of cancer survivors. It was a platform for people from different cultures, who spoke different languages, and who came from all parts of the world to put their differences aside and collectively and sequentially come together to walk non-stop for 24 hours. It provided an opportunity for walkers to express the effects that cancer had on their lives as well as spread a message of hope. It empowered people to know that they are not alone, and that they could make a supportive difference in someone’s cancer journey.
But for me on a personal level, it was so much more. Through interactions with people across the world I was privileged to discover incredible initiatives and projects that are being implemented to support different cancer communities. Beautiful, inspiring projects that were often conceived from a place of pain, grief, or even desperation. What an incredible thing it is to be able to use the challenges that you face as a springboard to help other people. Parents with sick children, not only thinking about their families, but how they can help other parents in similar situations. Cancer survivors giving up their free time to support people who are currently going through treatment. Awareness campaigns spearheaded by people who have lost loved ones.
The World Cancer Walk taught me that there are so many ways to make a difference. Whether it’s setting up an organisation to help a cancer community, driving a friend to a chemo appointment, or calling someone who is unwell, we can all make someone’s difficult cancer journey a little bit brighter. The doctors are working on a physical cure for cancer. We can work on the emotional side of healing. The part that so often has a positive impact on the physical side of the disease. With that being said, let’s use the messages from the World Cancer Walk and strive to carry them with us throughout the year until we reunite again for our 4th annual walk. Messages of unity, support, love and understanding. Let’s keep being kind to one another, keep supporting each other, and keep doing our part to make this world a better place.
Patient Advocate Inspire2Live