Cancer Canvas Paints Portrait of Patients, Survivors
Are you listening world? Do you know that 1,500 people die every day from cancer? Do you know of their struggles, their pain—and in some cases, their hard fought triumphs? Do you have any idea how cancer devastates mothers, sisters, brothers and fathers? Do you know who those people are? You should—and you can.
Just log on to the Cancer Canvas at demandcurestoday.org/cancercanvas. This poignant and moving montage created by The Gateway For Cancer Research gives voice to cancer patients’ and survivors’ challenges and helps them come together, and find support and comfort in each others’ courage, hope and perseverance.
The idea is simple. Visitors fill out a short form and upload a photo. Or they can use one of three inspirational images selected by The Gateway. The patients, survivors and loved ones who post to the Cancer Canvas leave messages that can be accessed with a click of the mouse on the square photos or images. Every day the number of squares increases. Every day, more and more people are passionately calling for cures.
Click. “Cancer truly was an eye opener for me. I walked in my first remission run a week after treatment. To see so many others that had gone through this and survived; it took my breath away,” says Julie Gulik, of Spring, TX, on the Cancer Canvas. “I hope soon to see a better treatment, and soon a cure.”
Click. Emra Smith of Pooler, GA says, “Thank you for your passion for demanding a cure. I have lost two family members to cancer and three friends that have had cancer (are) now survivors. It could be part of each of our lives at any time.”
The Gateway’s reason for existence is people like Gulik and Smith. Its mission is to speed research from the laboratory to the bedside because people with cancer need cures now! That’s why The Gateway directs 99 cents of every dollar it receives to cancer research.
The Gateway believes that life-saving treatments are near, so it seeks out and funds researchers who think differently and unconventionally. Simply put, the traditional way cancer research is funded and carried out has not worked. Too many people die every day; the equivalent of a small town full of mothers, fathers and children gone forever.
“Our hearts go out to those battling cancer and to the survivors who have been through so much adversity,” says The Gateway President Lynn Bisconti. “I fought my own battle with a lot of support and, fortunately, I won. But it was tough; an emotional roller coaster. Every person with cancer, and every family that has a member with cancer feels the same. We want everyone who suffers with cancer to live. They deserve a full lifetime, and that only comes with cures.”
The Cancer Canvas, she says, is an intimate way of underscoring the need for donations that help fund innovative clinical trials which, in turn, could result in new treatment options for patients. The Gateway wants everyone to visit the canvas, read the stories and comments, and put themselves in the shoes of those touched by cancer.
“When you see faces of cancer patients, survivors or members of their families, and hear their deep commitment is to cures, you instantly relate,” says Bisconti, a 14-year cancer survivor. “And that’s the idea behind the Cancer Canvas. It can be easy sometimes to see cancer as an illness that you don’t have, but somebody else does. It can be easy to ignore if you or someone you care about doesn’t have it. But when you read a message on the Cancer Canvas from a child whose mother has cancer, you feel connected.”
Those ‘somebodies’ are people who are loved—mothers, fathers, friends and co-workers with rich lives, aspirations and families. In personalizing them and their fight, The Gateway emphasizes the importance of research aimed at saving their lives. “Giving people touched by cancer a voice is very important, and if we can also raise funds to make more lifesaving research possible, it’s even better,” Bisconti says.
“Together we can beat cancer,” says Matt Salvadore from Providence, R.I. And that’s enough said to anyone who wants to help fight the battle.