CREATING A VISION – A CURRENT OF HOPE

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

― Robert F. Kennedy


CREATING RIPPLES OF HOPE

by Anjee Davis,  President

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(from left) Survivor and advocate Jovannie Lorenzo , Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. and Fight CRC President Anjee Davis.

I think about our mission and what we, as an organization, can do to truly make the impact our advocates want to make. It’s one of those things I get excited about, but there are times I have a heavy heart worrying; our mission is something I think about every day.

It’s the moments like those that have occurred this month that focus me. Moments when I get to see our advocates courageously share their stories. Their presence alone puts forth ripples of hope. I was so proud to be with our advocates in D.C., watching them in action on the Hill, as they shared their personal struggles with colon cancer. Seeing them in action this month gave me a sense of clarity as I think about our mission today.

Maybe the burden of execution is not on us,  but our task as an organization is to create the opportunities for advocates to stand up and put forth their own ripples.

We strive to empower those impacted by colorectal cancer to join a larger community of advocates who are willing to be loud and proud. With each step of the way, through our loses and celebrations, we support each other.

UNITED BEHIND A CURE

13472222674_3f90caf942_zOn July 16, we worked with ACS CAN and NCCRT to host an 80% by 2018 stakeholders meeting. We were joined by three members of Congress with a personal connection to colorectal cancer and over a dozen organizations united behind a cure.

Yet the stars of the show were our Fight Colorectal Cancer advocates who flew or drove in and made the time to be with us and share their stories. Their stories were what powered the day, they resonated with people and moved people. I even heard there was one man who heard Jovannie Lorenzo’s story and was moved to tears.

For us to make policy changes we have to go beyond an email.

 

Members of Congress and their staff need to know we are here and declaring that we won’t stop until they listen. Advocates like Debra Merritt, Jovannie Lorenzo, Patti Hollenback, Bunnie Terry, Jerina Ordono, Emily White and Michell Baker made that declaration in each and every meeting they attended. For more details about our efforts on the Hill, watch this video.

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Advocate and survivor Eric Powell threw out the first pitch to the Twins game during Pitch for Prevention

Our voices were not only heard on the Hill this month. We partnered with the Mayo Clinic, Fans for the Cure, Colon Cancer Coalition and our national spokesman, Craig Campbell, to raise awareness about colorectal and prostate cancer at this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game location and home of the Twins, Target Field.

Survivor and advocate Eric Powell threw out the first pitch at the Twins game and Chris Heffelbower shared her story about survivorship over a live webcast from Target Field’s press room. Once again advocates surprised us by getting on a plane and driving to support the cause: Pam Seijo, Patti Hollenback, Eric Powell, Chris Heffelbower and Ed Murphy- thanks for your support as you “rolled up your sleeves” to do your part at our One Million Strong event in Minnesota last week. View pictures from this event here.

WHAT’S NEXT?

I keep asking myself…what next? How can we be wise stewards of the cause?

I wish I had a crystal ball, but today as I reflect on the past two weeks, I am reminded that we, Fight Colorectal Cancer, are not alone. We are joined by One Million Strong – the community of survivors and loved ones touched by this disease. And we are supported by amazing people who share our vision and mission.

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(from left) Advocates Pam Seijo, Ed Murphy, Patti Hollenback and Michell Baker

To be true to the community we work for we must:

  •  Act with urgency
  •  Be responsive to change
  •  Listen to our community, even if it asks us to change course
  •  Remain constructively discontent
  •  Always focus on making an impact

We are already beginning to plan for March 2015, and I am grateful for the support of our amazing advocates.

I am excited because I am assured that united we are strong. We must dare to dream we will change the world.

We must believe that our collective efforts are creating a current of hope.

 

MORE…

Use Your Voice – Help Change Policy

Share Your Story – Join One Million Strong

Keep the Momentum Going – Fund the Fight

 

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