The main goal of WWGN is to support cancer survivors finished with treatment and asking the inevitable question, “Where do I go now?” That question, so simple, yet so profound, invites infinite possible answers as we rewrite the stories of our pre-cancer lives by living our lives beyond cancer as fully as we can.I built WWGN to encourage you to share your stories, from blog comments to the Community Gifts and Losses, People in Our Corner, and People We Remember lists. Expanding out through Facebook and Twitter widens the social network, but the aim was always the same: Tell me your story.
One of the most amazing stories I’ve been privileged to hear is that of Terri Wingham, blogger, world traveler and breast cancer survivor. I “met” Terri initially through Twitter, but had the immense pleasure of actually meeting her in person on a grey day last November. We sat at a tiny table in the corner of a small coffee shop in Hoboken, NJ, and shared our stories. I knew I would like her from our previous “conversations,” but I wasn’t prepared for how quickly we would bond as friends.
For me, life beyond cancer is a balancing act of recognizing and appreciating its Gifts and Losses and telling our untold stories. Terri’s story is the epitome of that ideal. Prior to her double mastectomy, she was a young executive powerhouse. After cancer, she made extreme changes, such as leaving her job to focus on her passion for writing. She took another leap of faith and signed up for a volunteer program in Africa. That trip led directly to her present trip around the world to volunteer on almost every continent. Her dream is to create a program for other cancer survivors to volunteer overseas so they can benefit as much as she has from her “Adventure of Hope.”
Between now and June 27th, Terri will:
- · Connect with cancer survivors and patients in three different cancer centers in Vietnam
- · Support a Women’s Empower Program in New Delhi
- · Work at an orphanage in Rwanda
- · Teach English to Spanish business people in Madrid
- · Work at an orphanage/daycare in Cusco, Peru
- · Work on a water filtration plant and a clean burning stove project in Urubamba, Peru
- · Teach English to under-privileged children in a small town in Costa Rica.
If you want to know more about Terri’s journey, from cancer diagnosis to Viet Nam (where she is right now) watch her YouTube video below. And, if you are as moved as I am by her courage and dedication, please support her by making a contribution to her trip. I am proud to be a supporter, and proud to know someone as extraordinary and awe-inspiring as Terri Wingham.
I can’t possibly join Terri on a trip around the world, but I am with her in spirit and look forward to hearing more of her story as it enfolds. As for you and me, although our stories may seem slightly more mundane than Terri’s, please continue to tell me your story and I will continue to share mine. Each of our stories is a miracle and sharing them is my joy. Isn’t that what our community is all about?
Survival > Existence,