Let’s Take a Moment to Recognize and Act on the Suffering of Others

Today, I want to direct you to someone else’s blog, because she has written about an issue that needs our attention.  In the midst of facing her fear of cancer recurrence, Terri Wingham steps away from her own suffering and asks us to consider the agony of the 11.3 million people across East Africa who urgently need food and medical supplies.

Asking the question, “What If We Were the Ones Broke Down and Torn?” Terri’s post brought me to tears.  She quotes a CBC article written by Kazi Stasna, in which he quotes Austin Kennan of the Concern Aid Organization, “The stories are actually what made it so horrendous, because every single family had lost two or more children.”

Kennan goes on to say, “Often, it’s women [walking] alone with children, so they’re not even able to bury them properly; they just have to leave them and walk on, hoping that somebody else will bury them for them, which is absolutely traumatic.”

Ian Robertson for the Toronto Sun, quotes Dave Toycen, World Vision Canada president, “Our greatest concern is for the children. Reports of children so malnourished they can’t cry anymore are particularly grim.  The ability to weep is the last stage before dehydrated, malnourished people die. The sound of silence for babies is often the sound of death.”

I live in a nice house and am able to provide my children with plenty of food.  I also live in a country that, right now, can’t seem to get it together politically.  I am overloaded on words like “crisis,”  “tragedy,” and “meltdown.”  Every day I turn on the television, or read the newspaper, I feel greater and greater anxiety about our future.

In the midst of all the political news, has been the news about Somalia.  For the most part, I have done my best to ignore it.  It seems just too horrendous and too far away.  But, as Terri reminded me, we must do more than give in to our own discomfort by looking away.

Please read Terri’s post.  If you do, I guarantee you will be moved to tears and action, as I was.  With a simple text message, you can send $10 to UNICEF, United Nations World Food Program, Save the Children and other organizations working to bring food and aid to those in need. 

We have all faced suffering as cancer survivors, but if we are alive and our children are well-nourished, we have much to be grateful for.  Let’s show that gratitude by giving hope to others who are suffering so much. 

Survival > Existence,



Terri Wingham's picture

Thank you for sharing!!

Thank you so much for your comment on my post and for now writing this piece. Your words inspire me and I hope will inspire the rest of your readers to give whatever we can. The line from the song that keeps ringing through my head is: “what if they were the ones just watching on TV…and they were the ones like oh that’s so sad”. It’s so easy for us to close our eyes to suffering because we feel powerless to stop it. Thank you for encouraging all of us to do what we can. UNICEF was the charity I chose too!
Much love!

Debbie's picture

You’re Welcome and You’re an Inspiration!


So glad I read your blog post this morning.  You really inspired me.  When I read about the children, I just started to tear up – that’s when I knew I had to contribute and speak out.  When you realize that we are all the same, we all love our children and can’t stand to see them suffer, then you realize that we must stand side by side and help in any way we can.  It’s never enough it seems, but it is something.  As Mother Teresa said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”  Thanks again for your words.

Love to you,



Brenda Coffee's picture

So Glad You Passed This Along

Terri’s blog often moves me to tears. Thank you for reposting it so others may read it as well.
Brenda Coffee

Debbie's picture

My Absolute Pleasure


The moment I started tearing up, I knew I had to write this post.  Thanks for stopping by, reading it and leaving your comment.  So glad to hear from you!

Survival > Existence,



Marie Ennis O'Connor's picture

Thanks for spreading the word

I loved what you said in your comment Debbie on Terri’s blog about being moved to tears and action – that is just how I felt! Thank you for spreading the word.

Debbie's picture

Action Comes A Bit More Easily to Me Now

Thank you, Marie.  In my post-cancer life, I find myself moved to action much more quickly than I did in my pre-cancer life.  “If not now, when?” has significantly more meaning to me than it did before.  I consider that yet another gift of cancer and I’m glad to be of use in this way.

Marie Ennis O'Connor's picture

Your comment is so relevant

Your comment is so relevant to a post I wrote this week on how from our own dark times we can emerge as a person of greater insight and compassion. http://journeyingbeyondbreastcancer.com/2011/08/02/journeying-from-darkn…

Debbie's picture

We are Definitely on the Same Wavelength

I just checked out that post and left a comment.  Like you, I needed to sit with my dark nights in order to get through them and heal.  It’s a horrible place to be and I feel your pain.  But, I know you will emerge an even stronger person.  I’m thinking of you and wishing you all the best.  Debbie

Marie Ennis O'Connor's picture

helps to know we aren’t alone

That is why I so love being part of this blogging community Debbie – it helps to know that we aren’t alone

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.