Black, brown, yellow, mixed-race, shame, stigma, religion, family or none, bone marrow challenges due to race, why we (people of color) don’t participate in existing programs, and how we won’t go down like death by a million papercuts! Oh, we went there and back and we’re ready to do it again!
Yesterday, at #CancerCON in Denver, Colorado, we convened the first-ever break-out session focused on young people of color living with cancer entitled, “Survivorship in Communities of Color – You Are Not Alone!” As panelists, we didn’t have very high expectations for turnout, since we were a 9:00AM session on Sunday, the last day of the conference. But our panel of five patient-turned-advocates-of-color drew 24 attendees who circled up with us to talk story and keep it real. Voices were lifted, tears were shed, and cancer survivors were validated and empowered.
Big thanks to Eric Galvez, DPT (brain cancer gangster), who conceived of this idea and prodded the rest of us to work together. In addition to Dr. Galvez, our panel included Tamika Felder (cervical cancer gangster), Jay Carter (leukemia gangster), Steven Lee (leukemia gangster) and me, Christabel Cheung, MSW (Hodgkin’s lymphomie gangster).
Thanks to CancerCON for giving us this important opportunity to make a difference!
If you’ve got something to say about being a minority cancer patient, please share and tweet it out #AintIaSurvivor.
Please message me if you have any ideas about other high-visibility gatherings where this discussion is needed.