How Gen Y Is Changing Cancer

F*ck Cancer founder Yael Cohen is at the forefront of a fresh news movement that has multiple generations working together to begin “looking for cancer instead of just finding it.”

Following her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis in 2009, Yael Cohen decided to use the ‘F word’ to fight the ‘C word.’ Yael is founder, president, and CFF (Chief Cancer Fucker) of FCancer, a non-profit organization that encourages and empowers Generation Y talk to their parents about early detection. It gives them a clear call to action to involve, engage, and educate their parents. Named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” in 2012, Cohen has grown FCancer into an inspirational and influential player in the charity space and has recruited a host of A-list celebrities to use their influence to garner public support.

My Story of Anne

By Andrea Shewchuk

I went into my stationery and boxes to find wrapping for the trinkets I would take to Susan tomorrow.

I had wondered late last week, before, where the calendar had gone, through our recent move and other clearings, what had made the “filter” process, my mind drifted momentarily into the bigger concept of change, impermanence, importance…

I rooted around in the envelopes and cards, and there at the back, peeking out, was Anne’s 2011. She had given it to me and said that hopefully it would be marked with many more times getting together in the future.

Anne had sent Susan to buy a gift each for me and my mother when we had lunch late in 2010 – mine was the 2011 calendar, The Twelve Muses.

Mitch Albom’s have a little faith is ironically, by accident, deliberately, by the hands of coincidence, well-placed next to me as I write.

Anne, her husband and my parents were mostly, almost, lifelong friends, intertwining business and pleasure and the cottage and boats and families and travel, sharing party sandwiches, deli food and everything else that presented itself on the path. This is how I came to know one of the best friends in the world, Susan, the daughter of Anne.

Anne was [...] continue the story

Life is Hard

I have been avoiding the internet, blogging, and all things online for the past week or so. I have touched in with facebook, and occasionally made sure I didn’t have any important e-mails pending, but mostly I have gone off the grid.

I have also been hiding in my room.

Here is why: my son was just diagnosed with Apergers, OCD, ADHD, ODD, a mood disorder, social phobia, and sensory processing disorders. He may also have an eating disorder. In the last week, I have seen what it is like for a child to lose control and rage without remembering the incident, or even knowing why. I have watched my son struggle to understand why he has to take new medications everyday and what the name/label of Aspergers means. I have learned that I am not alone amongst even my neighbors in dealing with this disorder, and I have cried for the child that I thought I had.

Life was not fun this week, and this blog is about the joy in life. My son was the one thing in our lives that we could count on as being good. My husband and I both suffer from chronic illnesses, my pituitary gland has [...] continue the story

In Sickness And In Health…

In sickness and in health… regardless of religion or cultural background, this vow usually makes its way into most wedding ceremonies. But how many of us in our relative youth at that time, actually truly understand what those words mean. “In health” is the easy part of course but what happens when unexpectedly some sort of chronic, serious illness decides to intrude on your perfect union?

That’s exactly what my husband Arun and I faced over fourteen years ago. We were married just five years when my symptoms began. And despite my desire to hide my head in the sand, he’s the one who encouraged me not to ignore the tremor. He was the one I ran to, my eyes full of angry tears, after the first neurologist had the gall to tell me he felt I had young onset Parkinson’s. He sat holding my hand when months later the second well-renowned movement disorder specialist confirmed this life sentence despite my desire to be absolved from the initial diagnosis.

He listened to what my physicians were recommending and took care of the practical side of things when all I heard were words and nothing was registering. And he was the one who [...] continue the story

A Herd of Narcissists, Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I wrote about the relationship between narcissism and shame.  This brings me to my next point, which is that narcissists see themselves as “unique and special people.”

(Scroll down to get the rest of article.)

I’m looking at narcissism because I believe its submerged half, shame, is a shadowy but potent presence in many healthcare settings: its destructive force is shaping the behaviour of many working in the field.

I want to understand what went wrong with my mother’s journey through the healthcare system. I want to know why workers in it were so prone to lying, prevaricating and stonewalling. I would also like to know why advocating for my mother provoked so much anger and resentment.

I’m looking for answers because I am getting older and what I saw frightened me.

My mother’s journey started in an acute-care hospital. From there she went to a rehabilitation hospital, and from there she came to my home, where she lived for 20 months. She is now in a long-term care facility here in Montreal and is, for the most part, doing well. However, if you read Part 1 of this article, you will already know this wasn’t always the case.

Like many [...] continue the story

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