#LCSM Chat Topic 9/3/2020: Is #Cancer Advocacy for Everyone?

The September 3 #LCSM Chat will tackle the issue of making time for cancer advocacy.

Most media outlets shared that “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman died of colon cancer last week at age 43. He kept his illness a secret, and managed to complete several major film projects while dealing with surgeries and chemotherapy sessions.  While such a high-profile entertainer might have made a powerful colon cancer advocate, his choice to keep working as an actor has had (and continues to have) a positive impact on millions of lives internationally. It’s hard to justify saying he made the wrong choice by not becoming a cancer advocate.

Cancer advocacy is a choice that requires sacrifice.  Patients sacrifice privacy (by sharing their story publicly), energy that might be in short supply during treatment, and time that could be spent enjoying family and friends, working, and making memories.  Healthcare workers sacrifice personal time, which is already limited by their work caring for patients.

Yet cancer advocacy is also essential for raising funds for research, promoting needed changes in the healthcare system, and ensuring the best possible patient care options. Each potential advocate has to know their priorities and make their own choices about the best way to spend whatever time they have left on this earth.

Our next #LCSM Chat on September 3, 2020, at 8 pm Eastern time (5 pm Pacific.) will focus on sharing our experiences and challenges in finding time for cancer advocacy, and ideas on balancing priorities.  Research Advocate Janet Freeman-Daily (@JFreemanDaily) will moderate our discussion using the following questions:

  • T1: How do you define cancer advocacy? Is it advocating for yourself, other patients, one type of cancer, all cancers? Do all of these require the same skills, time commitment, education?
  • T2: What aspect of cancer advocacy is most meaningful for you: self advocacy, patient navigation, raising awareness, fundraising, codesigning research, increasing access to care, changing policy, other?
  • T3: What discourages you from participating in cancer advocacy?
  • T4: How does one juggle cancer advocacy with the other roles in life?  What factors do you consider when deciding how much time to spend on it?
  • T5: If someone told you they were interested in becoming a cancer advocate, what would you say to them?

Please join us, and bring your experiences and wisdom!  Remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. You can read a primer on participating in the chat here.

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