Published Friday, July 15, 2011 10:37AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 6, 2013 12:59PM EDT
What an absolutely beautiful day. I'm out in the backyard in my favourite lawn chair - it's the type that swings up like a laz-y-boy. It's a quiet day. Not eerily quiet, but calm. The birds are still doing their thing, in fact, I just noticed the unique muffled buzzing sound of a hummingbird. I wasn't quite sure what it was at first -- then I spotted it. Man those little guys can really flap their wings. They always seem to have a purpose. flying and feeding. flying and feeding. Their purpose is survival I suppose.
At the root of things, that's what we humans do too. I've been doing quite well lately. I haven't written as much as I would have liked to. Believe me, there is so much to tell you. I've been buzzing around like that little hummingbird, and find there are only so many hours in a day.
I do want to let you all know about a project I have been working on for the last several months. I mentioned it briefly on my last post and on my Facebook page. (You do know I'm on Facebook and Twitter right?)
@AnwarKnight on Twitter
My Facebook Page
Anyway, my journey began almost a year and a half ago. It's a road that I'm still travelling, but it's led me to a new venture. One that I really hope will help people.
Being diagnosed with cancer changes your life. I have been extremely blessed receiving and completing a treatment protocol that seems to have done what it was supposed to. As I have happily discovered, there are many people who have successfully completed treatment. That's a fact that I think should be celebrated.
I think its time we gently re-balance our perception of this disease. I don't think there is anyone who, once diagnosed, does not fear their mortality. The word "cancer" can leave some feeling defeated before they even know what the options are. That kind of thinking was nurtured before science was able to get ahead of it many decades ago. It continues to instil fear and avoidance in patients and their supporters to this day.
I don't believe we will ever get the true upper hand on Cancer unless we really confront it head on. That means, in addition to the research that must continue, we need to celebrate the success stories, and stop empowering the disease by allowing it to take control. I know it is true for some that recovery is not possible, but it's important to understand that more people survive cancer than are killed by it.
Yes, over 60 per cent of people who are diagnosed today will receive treatment and go on to live. Over 60 per cent. No -- it's not perfect -- far from it, but we have come a long way. 60 per cent means that more people are surviving cancer than ever before.
While we wait for a miracle breakthrough, the time has come for ALL OF US to do our part. We need to engage ourselves in prevention and early detection. If you do have cancer, the absolute best thing that you can do is detect it - EARLY. It can no longer be the "boogie man" in the closest that we try our best to avoid. If you find it early, the success rate in terms of treating some types of cancers jumps to over 90 percent.
As of today, I launched a support initiative for newly diagnosed cancer patients and survivors, it's called "Hope Happens"
(www.hopehappens.ca). The site's main goal is simple. I want to inspire hope. Hope does happen. People do embrace and celebrate life after cancer.
Hope Happens is an interactive website that is presented in an easily accessible format. We feature relevant and realistic information along with inspirational messages of hope from everyday people who have walked the treatment trench. We want to empower, engage and inspire and be a new vanguard against this disease. Starting today you can help me do it.
With that, I want to thank everyone for their support with this initiative. Virtually all of the volunteers who helped me develop this project are "survivors" or have been touched closely by this disease. From the exceptional web building team at the Justin Poy Agency, to all of the participants who appeared in our video. They are all beacons of hope. Like that little hummingbird in the backyard, we all have a purpose.
Cancer does not have to be about the end, it can also be about a brave new beginning.
I am proof - Hope Happens.
..."You will discover that you have two hands. One is for helping yourself and the other is for helping others."