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Life Redefined: Sharing September

Post Published: 27 September 2011
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Category: Column, Life Redefined, Thyroid Cancer in Young Adults Column
This post currently has 3 responses. Leave a comment
September is thyroid cancer awareness month. This really is not new information for this community because we live and breathe “thyroid.” But did you know that it’s also prostate cancer awareness month and ovarian cancer awareness month and childhood cancer awareness month and gynecological cancer awareness month and blood cancer awareness month? That’s a lot of different colored awareness ribbons all for the month of September. And that also means there are a lot of different organizations vying for attention during this month and shouting, “This cancer is important! Pay attention to us!”

Please don’t misunderstand me as I’m not even slightly suggesting that we should ignore other cancers. I don’t think thyroid cancer deserves more awareness than other cancers during the month of September. The reason that I’m drawing attention to other the cancers we share this month with is to try to help us all understand that we cannot box awareness into one month and think that we are going to bring about change. It’s just not going to happen. We cannot garner the attention we need in just one month. In order for us to be effective in changing the face of thyroid cancer, we have to raise awareness all year long. It cannot be confined to one month. To really see change, we have to be consistent and raise awareness day in and day out. We have to make ourselves heard.

I mentioned in an earlier post that my preferred method of raising awareness is simply to tell my story. I think our stories are all so unique and important and have the potential to really bring change. But to make a difference, we have to keep sharing. So I’m asking you to step up in a big way. If you are a young adult (under 40) thyroid cancer survivor or were a young adult at the time of your thyroid cancer diagnosis, I’m asking you to share your story in our Young Adults Speak Out series. (Please note that you don’t have to be cancer-free to be considered a survivor in my book.) You may have noticed a few young adult stories on Dear Thyroid this month already. Ruthie, Erin, and myself all spoke out about why thyroid cancer awareness is important to us. But we’re not stopping there. We can’t stop there.

Young adults, we want more from you. Please hear me: your story is important. It is valuable and worthy of being shared. You CAN make a difference. EVERY voice is needed. If you’re interested in speaking out with us, we would love to share your story on Dear Thyroid. For more information or to submit your story, please email me at joanna@dearthyroid.org.

Thank you for being such an awesome community.

xo,
Joanna

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3 Responses to “Life Redefined: Sharing September”

  1. Melissa Travis says:

    I love you. And I love your story. Sharing our stories heal. I have been struggling with my own story lately… feeling that it both doesn’t matter AND feeling overwhelmed with it..
    I even said to myself the other day, “I wish I had never started telling people my story.”… bc what I meant was, “I wish I had never BEEN sick… I wish I had NEVER gone through what I’ve been through BECAUSE OF ILLNESS.” (and yet- THAT is my story.” 🙂

    You have given me a renewened sense of purpose. Thank you.
    xo
    Melissa

    • I think it’s normal to cycle through periods of not wanting to share our story because sometimes it’s just exhausting. I’m glad you have a renewed sense of purpose, though, because your story is truly BEAUTIFUL. Thank you for being YOU.

      xoxo

  2. Lolly says:

    Joanna you are so right one month is just not enough to make others aware of thyroid cancer, spreading the word and how it effects each and everyones life who have it.

    It’s not always easy telling your story and sometimes where to begin but even snippets of it can go along way in helping others..

    You do a great job I applaud you.

    Lollyxox

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