We all have lost someone to cancer, or we at least know people who has. Cancer has become a common illness in our society. As a Public Health professional, it breaks my heart to see so many people die from it even when our country is well-equipped with preventative measures. Sadly, numbers are gradually increasing, and the most important thing we can do right now is to raise awareness. Raising awareness is great for many reasons: it gives hope to patients and loved ones, it provides financial support to research and treatments, it informs the general public that this is an important cause, etc.
Almost every month of the year is a cancer awareness month. Among them, October is especially meaningful to me because I almost lost my mother and grandmother to Breast Cancer. When my grandmother was going through it, I didn’t know enough to realize how serious cancer was. I was just glad that she was no longer ill. However, when my mother went through it, I was old enough to comprehend the gravity of the situation. Seeing my mom go through chemotherapy and operations was the hardest thing I have faced in my life. My mom is my rock, and she is the toughest person I know. To see her so weak and defeated turned my whole world upside down. Despite it all, I cannot be happier that she is alive and healthy today. This is why my mom and I are especially motivated to give back to those who need. We participate in fundraising events and anything that helps raise awareness. My mom and I actually did a 5K recently. It is such a rewarding experience. Many survivors and loved ones come together to share their stories, encourage each other, and most of all, spread love and hope to those who are still struggling. It definitely makes you feel like you’re a part of something great.
Throughout my undergraduate and graduate career, I have been involved in many events on campus that has raised awareness for various types of cancer. I’ve participated in events hosted by Terp Thon, Students Engaged in Public Health (SEIPH), and Student Leadership Association (SLA). It was so empowering to see my fellow students taking a stand and raising awareness for those who couldn’t, for those who needs it, and for those we love.
Are you interested in raising awareness and being part of a greater picture too? There are many local organizations. If you want something a bit closer to campus, Students Engaged in Public Health (SEIPH) is doing a Breast Cancer Awareness week in the last week of October right here on USG campus. Keep an eye out for flyers and tables! 😉