I was diagnosed with breast cancer on my birthday, five years ago. Before I headed home to cake and candles, my doctor told me what to expect: radiation, chemotherapy, surgery — and plenty of medical bills. My family and I, we were ready for all that.
What we didn't know was that fighting cancer would be about way more than just treatment. Beyond the nausea and the pain there was fear, confusion, and isolation. What I needed more than anything was comfort.
The love my family poured into me was a lifeline. The smallest gesture from a friend or coworker – flowers, a giant teddy bear, a cup of tea and a warm blanket – suddenly meant the world. And when strangers offered random acts of comfort, from a smile in the checkout line to a kind word from a fellow survivor, that truly helped me feel like I wasn't alone.
So now that I’m a survivor, I'm paying it forward. This pledge seemed like as good a place to start as any (and a charity called Giving Comfort helped me get it off the ground). If 500 people sign it, that's 500 moments of kindness we're creating in the world. If 5,000 signed it, we'd really be making a difference.
Will you pledge to practice random acts of comfort for cancer patients in need?
More than 1.6 million people in this country are diagnosed with cancer every year. Many don't have the kind of support I did. They need comfort. We can help.
— Wanda J., Columbia, South Carolina