Monday, July 08, 2013

22 Years of Service to Young People with Cancer - A Video Diary

Super Social Butterfly
I knew from a young age that my life was to be used to support others.   When you know you will never have children, it can devastate you or you can choose to see the opportunities it will open up.

I attended a camp for children with cancer - called Camp Oochigeas (now just Camp Ooch) and became a counsellor. I had many happy summers at Ooch. When you are a survivor, you form very close bonds to other cancer patients and survivors. 

It's a wonderfully natural bond which lasts a lifetime.  Those who haven't had cancer often described having what we called, "cancer envy" because they wanted to be part of this exclusive club.  Sounds really weird to say that but there is no doubt that those of us who have had cancer and lived through it, view life differently. We are angels on this earth, knowing that we have a message to share. 

I nurture my child within.  Some call it Peter Pan Syndrome.  I am deeply connected to my playful side.  My wise 10 year old self.

When I decided to relocate to New Zealand, I wanted to spread the love and share my life and experiences with the young people here.  Once again I've had a richness of experience volunteering with CanTeen for 9 years. 

I am not just a volunteer.  I am a pioneer.   I am a role model.  I am a mentor.  I am a behind the scenes  ambassador.  I am the face of cancer and I am the heart of what it means to survive and to make a difference to others.   But I do it for love and out of love.  I've spoken about the importance of giving to charity.  I feel very fortunate that I am able to give my time so freely.  As I've said before;  my "job" pays the bills but charity work fills my soul.

Volunteering has been my greatest "work".  Time is more valuable than money.  You can make more money, but when time is spent, it's gone forever.

And just look at how rich my life has been.  I can't wait for the next 22 years.

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