I was buying some groceries recently in the heart of Cairo, Egypt. The summer has come unusually early and it was such a hot afternoon that I even decided to go back home by taxi. While I was waiting in line for the cashier, I opened Facebook and found out that it was Earth Day*.
Happy Birthday Earth! What can I get you? No plastic bag today for you my dear Earth. My Home. The only home I have. Today I will carry my groceries in my hands.
I felt motivated, happy and hopeful and I said to myself, today I will tell my nieces and nephews that I am helping to build a better future for them. But then it a thought crossed my mind…is this hope real? Or is it fake?
Can I really promise my family a better future, by taking only this simple act for the earth? Is this enough?
And as a cancer patient advocate, am I doing the best I can to make life better for cancer patients? Is this enough as well? At least I can promise them that in 10 to 20 years from now, things will be better for them.
When actions of advocacy are strong enough, we feel that the hope we give is not fake. It is real.
Life needs two simple things: A healthy earth + healthy humans. This is the simple equation.
For a healthy earth: we see that apologising to the earth is not enough, we need to change the way we act, behave and live to save what can be saved and this means that every single person on earth should contribute actively and daily to saving the earth. If we don’t do this, we can give promises of a better future, but it will be fake hope.
For healthy humans: we need to celebrate special days for cancers, build cancer hospitals and publish materials for awareness. Ad hoc activity is not the best way to ensure healthy humans. We need to unite patient advocates, with policymakers, researchers, physicians and industry representatives to create a solid action plan built on real needs and share it with the public to give them real hope.
Hope is only real when we enable it!
Patient Advocate Inspire2Live
*Earth Month takes place from half of April till the end of May, every year surrounding the all-important Earth Day on April 22. This annual awareness month is an opportunity to raise awareness and advocate for change around the issues most impacting our planet.