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I’m Listening . . . and so should you

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I recall one of my bi-line descriptions when I first joined Twitter, way back when the service first started. I had listed: Listener, Storytelling. I love listening to stories and after all these years I’m surprisingly still moved when I hear or see a touching story that helps us learn and inspires us to appreciate our lives.

While driving to meet two close friends for breakfast this week, I heard a piece on NPR Morning Show from StoryCorp. I love StoryCorp – the concept and the connections are brilliant. The story I heard was about Will Smith, a single dad who completed a college education with his little girl by his side – all at age 27. The effort and struggles of Will during this time were already impressive when the story, as it often does, took another turn.

A Twist in Will’s Story:  Colon Cancer

StoryCorp WillSmithRight around the time StoryCorp first recorded Will sharing about his education and “single dad” struggles, he was diagnosed with stage III colorectal cancer. As an African American, Will falls into a demographic that is at a higher-than-average risk for colorectal cancer. Many in this demographic are not aware of the signs of colorectal cancer or their family history.

Will received treatment and is currently in remission, now focusing on getting his daughter and supporter her shot at a college education. Will is lucky to be alive.

The Power of Story Telling – It Inspires and Connects

As I listened to Will’s story, I was moved by how this father and daughter shared their story, the connection they have and the support they draw from each other. I hear and get the honor of sharing so many incredible stories at Fight Colorectal Cancer. The StoryCorp piece reminded me of how supportive OUR community is for each of us connected in this fight.

We aren’t StoryCorp but we have some great tools at our disposal that not only tell stories but help us all stay connected and learn one another’s experiences. If you haven’t connected, we ask you to try. All our voices together makes one LOUD boom!

  • The Power of One Million Strong: Shares and highlights biographies of our #1MilStrong community
  • Inspire: Online support community
  • Facebook: Good News Tuesday where we ask a simple question, What is your good news? The responses are amazing!

We hope you’ll share your story with us today! Our ears are open.

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To connect with Michael, visit him on Twitter

Click here to read the StoryCorp story about Will Smith. 

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