Anne Marie Cerato

IMG_2789 smallAnne Marie Cerato

4-Year Lung Cancer Survivor

Patient Advocate and Speaker

I am living with stage 4 Lung Cancer. A little over a year ago, I was certain that my life would be cut short and I doubted I’d see my 35th birthday. Thanks to a targeted treatment I’m looking past 40, my condition although incurable is now manageable and chronic, not terminal.

One of the most challenging parts of this journey has been the isolation I felt, during and after treatment, both as a Lung Cancer patient but also as a Young Adult. Even living in a world-class city like Toronto, I found it incredibly difficult to find the resources and outlets I needed as a Young Adult living with Lung Cancer. After having experienced the stigma and isolation of having this condition I decided I would do something to change things for the better.

DSC_0260_1I began These Are My Scars to provide other young adults with a place and the tools to see their own scars in a new light. Through this new perspective, we hope that individuals are able to heal from the deeper emotional scars emanating from the cancer experience. This personal project has led me into Patient Advocacy and Public Speaking. It is through speaking for organizations such as Pfizer, Bohringer-Ingelheim and the Lung Association that I am able to share my story and inspire Patients, Medical Professionals and others to have hope and to advocate for themselves.

More recently I have had the privilege of being elected to the Board of Lung Cancer Canada, the nation’s primary non-profit resource for lung cancer education, patient support, research and advocacy. By sitting on the Advocacy Committee, I am able to use my experiences to help evoke change to the system and influence how patients are treated in the future.

Using tattoo as a medium of self-expression Anne Marie shares her  personal, emotional journey on Patient Commando.

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