Ed. Note: Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century.
I am a 3 time cancer survivor, 2 times with breast and 1 with colorectal. My breast cancer of 29 years ago resulted in several surgeries and double mastectomies. My diagnosis has led me to volunteer work that has greatly impacted my life. I am a mother of 4 and grandmother of 12. My experience has led me to become a breast cancer advocate to help others with their battle.
I volunteer with the American Cancer Society and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network because it is my way of giving back. I feel very blessed with my recoveries and want to be able to give back and help others look beyond their fear of cancer and pull out their courage to fight the battle and win it. I feel that it is extremely important to promote our message of prevention and early detection. I like to offer others hope, so they can go forward on their cancer journey with trust, confidence and belief in themselves.
Last year, I had my second diagnosis of breast cancer. I did not have insurance at this time and was able to qualitfy for the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, funded by CDC. Thanks to ACS CAN, I was able to utilize my information through them and escape financial devastation. I am able to help others with this knowledge and help advocate for the continued funding for this program.
I am also a wish granter with the Make A Wish Foundation. By spending time with children and their families, I have gained more strength to fight against my own cancers, and to know how important these two organizations are for very different purposes. I love to see the joy in children’s eyes, when they realize they are going to have their wish come true, as many of them have very little joy in their lives during their battle with cancer.
I am an advocate for more cancer research, clinical trials and preventative measures. I see the necessity for continued funding for the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, so that many more of these children have a greater chance for a complete recovery. Bills also, such as the Affordable Care Act are helping many of these families and other cancer patients from financial devastation.
I feel compelled to offer others hope-Helping Other People Every Day, I want them to concentrate on the beauty of living and to find their courage to continue fighting to beat their cancer more than their fear of dying from their cancer.
Anne Creech is a three time cancer survivor and volunteers with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.