Last week I was able to connect with Karen Chelcun Schreiber who is the founder of No Stomach for Cancer. It was super exciting since my mom and I feel like she is a celebrity in the CDH1 world. Her webpage and foundation has provided many with fantastic information as well as support. I was able to connect with other CDH1 bloggers through her No Stomach for Cancer Forum. We discussed me becoming a No Stomach for Cancer Ambassador in Canada to help spread awareness about stomach cancer as well as the Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer Syndrome. I was so excited about talking to Karen, I called my mom right after I got off the chat with Karen.
When I first started blogging, I did it not for myself but for others. I also created the blog to keep friends and family posted so they knew what was going on with me. It all started out with me clicking on a link that Rachel Kinney posted in the No Stomach for Cancer forum because she was about to undergo a total gastrectomy. This eventually lead me to find Marne‘s blog. Through Marne’s blog, I was able to connect with Steve who had made a comment in her blog at one point. Marne had once posted links to other bloggers and I stumbled upon Kate‘s blog as well. Though searching through the wordpress reader, I found Hanna‘s blog. Reading other people’s blog has been super helpful for me and I am fortunate to be able to read stories of other going through the same thing.
As word caught on that I had been writing a blog, more people wanted to follow it and I was happy to share. Around my 30th post, I decided that it was time to post my blog on the No Stomach For Cancer personal stories page. My company also wanted to start a blog to spread awareness about what I was going through as well as stomach cancer (Thanks Mia!!). My small story was starting to spread to a lot of others. It was becoming a lot bigger. People I didn’t know at work started to come up and ask me how I was doing and inquiring about Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer Syndrome. Mia started speaking with Karen and the rest is history.
I am SO SO SO thankful that my cancer was caught early enough so I am able to do something about it. There are many people out there who were or are not so lucky. I recently found out about Alex Ito who is currently battling colon cancer at the age of 25 (diagnosed at 23). I think in the past, I would have read her story, felt really sad for her, and then moved on. But experiencing what it is like to have a cancer diagnosis, it hits home a little harder. I have been donating to the Canadian Cancer Society (via Relay for Life) over the past four years, but this year is extra special for me. I am also hoping to organize a walk for No Stomach for Cancer on November 1st. This walk occurs all over the world on this day and it raises money for stomach cancer research. Thanks to cancer research, I have been given a choice.
I know that I have mentioned this over and over again, but I am super thankful for everyone’s support and all those who are putting all the work in to spread awareness about Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer Syndrome and Stomach Cancer.
Let the countdown begin again – three more weeks to go!