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January 16, 2010

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January 16, 2010

Voices of Survivors is playing a crucial role in the growing field of cancer "survivorship". Thankfully, more and more people are surviving the disease to continue with their lives. Many find, however, that they cannot or do not wish to continue with their life in the same way as before. Instead of returning to "normal", survivors often talk of finding a "new normal". Some take on new challenges, some have difficulty coming to terms with their new perspective on their own mortality, and others change their lives in more subtle way. Almost all find that their lives are changed. These changes are at the heart of the meaning of the word survivorship. Voices of Survivors provides not only a forum for survivors to air their insights on their "new normal", but by doing so also provides a wonderful resource for other survivors to compare their own stories against. The Foundation has grown quickly to become an international community of disparate and diverse individuals bound by a common experience and, notable, by a common spirit of positivity. Anybody who is starting a survivorship journey - a journey which starts at the point of diagnosis - should visit the site and be both reassured and inspired. Lynn Lane, the founder of the Foundation, asked me to contribute a piece to the "Written Word" section of the Voices of Survivors website. I was proud to contribute, and touched by the reaction to my piece. I am not religious, so it's rare for me to quote the bible, but I do believe the phrase, "the truth will set your free". The contributors to Voices of Survivors share the truth of their situations. Sometimes heartbreaking, often humbling, always inspiring, and above all, honest. Watch the videos, read the stories, cry, smile and be inspired.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the inspiring stories of survivorship which it shares.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 16, 2010

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January 16, 2010

I had the pleasure of meeting Voices of Survivor Founder Lynn Lane in NYC's Central Park last summer when he interviewed on video for his video series. Since then I have kept up to date on all that his organization is doing and the wonderful progress they are making in developing and implementing new programs that help to support the cancer survivor community. I'm honored to be a part of the Voices of Survivors story and believe that the Foundation is having an impact on many people's lives. As I, too, have started the non-profit Metropolitan Community Charities and getavision programs since recovering from Burkitt's Lymphoma, I hope to be able to help the Voices of Survivors Foundation to further their potential impact among the gay and lesbian population.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching the lives of people who have been touched and inspired by the programs.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching the videos online.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the founder Lynn Lane.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand the infrastructure and create a much more dynamic community with an abundance of interactivity and content submissions for the programs.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

January 16, 2010

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January 16, 2010

I first met Lynn Lane, Founder & Executive Director of Voices of Survivors Foundation on Planet Cancer, shortly after losing my son, a young adult, to cancer. Lynn has a friendly and down-to-earth demeanor and is extremely easy to talk to; his friendship during that time helped me through some rough days. I have watched Voices of Survivors Foundation take off & grow from the beginning, and I am very impressed with the quality and strength of the foundation as well as how quickly it has gained momentum. Voices of Survivors Foundation is instrumental to the empowerment of people living with cancer, as well as to those of us who have lost loved ones to this dreaded disease. It is a great educational site for doctors, nurses, social workers, and anyone who is working with people with cancer and their families, as well as the general public. I am always excited to find out what is new and believe me, Lynn Lane keeps things moving along with wonderful new ideas to support the good work he is already doing. First and foremost, Voices of Survivors Foundation remains a crucial resource for people with cancer, a mission that Lynn Lane never loses sight of that. This is a foundation that deserves a lot of credit along with financial support so that it can continue to excel.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the opportunity given to cancer survivors to share their lives & experiences with others.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 16, 2010

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January 16, 2010

I happened upon Voices of Survivors early on when it was just a new organization. Lynn Lane, President, was getting cancer survivors to share their personal stories about their cancer experiences. Quite a few people had already shared, when I was asked to share my story, and it was as hard as it was easy, and I prayed someone would benefit from reading my story as much as I did from reading theirs. People were opening up, and it was through this sharing of voices, that so many of us, have found comfort, and gained much knowledge about our cancers, and about what it means to each individual to be a survivor. Everyones stories are different, and Mr. Lane has taken his own experiences and turned them into the most positive, enlightening, and, cant wait to read the next "voice" help yourself, and others organization. I look forward to reading every story, watching every video, and now hearing every conversation. Its raw emotion and its a great cause! It has and will help many. Totally pay it forward! 2 thumbs up! Thank you Mr. Lane.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the sharing of my own story, and the learning experience of having been able to learn and grow from the other stories of survivors.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 16, 2010

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January 16, 2010

Not only is Voices of Survivors a welcome and needed part of the cancer survivor's world but so is Lynn Lane, their founder and director. Daily, I follow the website and the VoS social media (twitter & Facebook) that networks us survivors and patients together to offer aid, support and information to one another throughout the day. The powerful and moving videos of survivors mean so much to us who want so badly to survive, too. And not just hang on but do it in style, as Lynn and his many featured survivors do! Lynn's super spirit permeates everything he does. His joy, gentle wit and rollicking humor are something I look forward to every day whether he's introducing a written voice telling someone's heartfelt story or eliciting someone's inner beauty and humanity in a survivor video. I look forward to Lynn's various postings each day and eagerly look forward to the videos of survivors telling their stories especially. Lynn is a hero to so many of us and his infectious good humor and bright outlook on life are such a boost in everything he and VoS do. The powerful stories of cancer survivors mean so very much to a patient who struggles with uncertainty, fear, fatigue and sometimes pain. I repost many of Lynn's videos and get such great feedback from other survivors. By example and explanation, we learn coping tips, strategies, successful attitudes, how to reach out for the right kind of help or a second opinion, how to be pleasantly proactive, how to communicate better with our health care teams, how to have a better relationship throughout the strain of illness and treatment. It's valuable stuff. Men, women, young, older, from all around the world, each survivor Lynn captures has something to teach us about dignity and life. Sometimes we lose people. Not all survivors survive. When cancer claims someone, it is so very dear to have these videos or their written words to remember them by. The videos and written word essays are quite an archive if anyone wanted to study the qualities of survivorship. My only criticisms? I wish Lynn had help & the budget to do even more of the videos. One a day would suit me fine! I also wish it were a little easier to access older videos on the website. I imagine Lynn could solve this problem with a large bequest or a grant or two! And the

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the responses from cancer patients and survivors on facebook and twitter.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Add staff that had a similar level of passion, enthusiasm, warmth and genuineness. Growing while preserving the intimacy and personal feeling.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The amazing range of humanity captured in the videos.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I've only met Lynn and he is the unsinkable Molly Brown on the Titanic that is cancer.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Be a powerful voice in cancer advocacy. Make some great documentaries. Organize & run some kick ass physical training programs & bike races for cancer survivors. Sport is the antithesis of cancer. it's a great way to overcome the shadows of helplessness

Ways to make it better...

The website made searching and accessing archived material easier. Costs $$, though.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Finding the right staff, growing without losing the intimacy & power

One thing I'd also say is that...

Lynn himself is so much a part of the while spirit. These videos are so deeply personal that growing too big might endanger the truthfulness and power.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 16, 2010

more

January 16, 2010

I love Voices of Survivors. They give cancers Survivors a chance to tell their story and possibly touch someone else's life and encourage them in their fight.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The opportunity to share my Survivor story with others and getting to read/see other Survivors stories. They are very encouraging.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 15, 2010

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January 15, 2010

I found Voices of Survivors at the same time I joined Facebook and heard of the site through a friend. Around the same time I learned the Livestrong summit was to be held close to my home town in Dublin Ireland and signed up as a volunteer which put me in touch with many other cancer survivors and delegates with similar and passionate views of cancer survivorship. This involved getting the message out there by advising and educating people to our abilities whilst playing an active role in helping others to understand that a cancer diagnosis need not be a death sentence as it once was. I found by reading and listening by video to individual stories of surviving cancer and living a full life therafter gave me renewed hope and enthusism to continue fighting on a daily basis personally and never give up hope we finally would have a cure one day. Voices of survivors I feel helps so many people from all walks of life to speak of their own personal experience with this disease and share their innermost thoughts they may never have had the courage to do. I added my own cancer journey to this wonderful site and was amazed by the positive feedback from so many people who read my own story and were recently diagnosed and frightened. I feel Voices of survivors brings together and unites people from every age, race and gender in a common bond we all share to join hands and never give up. I've since introduced many of my own survivor friends to this site who have also shared their story and are as impressed and glad to have found it and the friends it has brought with it as I am.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Reading of others experience and sharing my own.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

All the wonderful new friends I've made there who understand the daily feelings of being a cancer survivor when even family may not.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Wonderful and encouraging!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Advertise ....as much as possible and maybe look at giving inspirational talks at hospitals, health centre's etc....a booklet may also be a good idea with e mail address's or contacts of survivors who would be happy to chat to newly diagnosed.

Ways to make it better...

I've truely as yet found no faults and can't think of anything to improve VOS other than even more members

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Finding ways of sharing this site with others who need it as many do not know it exists.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I'd have loved to learn of VOC when diagnosed and possibly even speak to some of the survivors at an earlier stage when I was lost and alone feeling it may well be a death sentence.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 15, 2010

more

January 15, 2010

I was first involved with this organization as a 2x breast cancer survivor. I was invited by the Founder/ED, Lynn Lane, to share my story in the Written Word section of www.voicesofsurvivors.com. Recently, I have become more involved after being asked to serve as a Board member to help promote and support the Mission of the Voices of Survivors Foundation. (VOSF) My reasons for serving in this role are many. Lynn Lane has a very clear and defined purpose for VOSF and a passion for 'survivors' like no one I have ever met. He is a man with integrity, passion, commitment, vision, and a talent for capturing the stories of so many of us battling the beast. His short and long term goals/projects for VOSF are astounding and are unique to the cancer community. Lynn provides support at an exhausting level most of us could never maintain and does so with a compassionate heart and concern for us as 'survivors'. From a practical perspective, the two immediate challenges I have observed are: 1. Financial As with any non-profit, raising funds to implement the various programs, grants and projects of VOSF is an ongoing challenge. Creating awareness of VOSF and an understanding of the Mission must be a priority and one I know Lynn Lane and others are working toward at a local, national and international level. 2. Growth While growth is positive, it also presents a challenge in that there is simply not enough hours in the day or people available to implement all the various projects that are currently in the works for VOSF. Again, this seems to be an ongoing challenge for most non-profits as they balance growth, staff, projects and resources. The VOSF is an inspiration to thousands of cancer survivors and co-survivors all around the world and is widely respected by other organizations as well as individuals within the cancer community.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Oh..... the media projects VOSF could produce and the grants VOSF could give to organizations/individuals to support their 'survivorship' projects would be astounding.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 15, 2010

more

January 15, 2010

Voices of Survivors -- established by cancer survivor Lynn Lane -- is one of the few start-ups that not only surpasses its first year intact but establishes a distinct identity and service for people affected by cancer. Its mission is clear and unique: to depict the story of cancer survivorship and co-survivorship directly from those experiencing it, from short video-taped stories, to filmed conversations and articles written by cancer survivors. In a short time the incredible variety of cancer survivors -- by age, type of cancer, nationality and race -- becomes illuminating. To hear each individual define survivorship is inspiring and touching. I am always moved by the stories and the incredible courage, humanity and courage depicted. Lynn Lane and the Voices of Survivors Foundation have changed the cancer landscape and will continue to do so. I am happy to support and recommend this organization and its excellent work.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

getting to know and connecting with many of the survivors featured on the site.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I have no changes to make at this time.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

setting aside time to think and define how cancer and survivorship has changed so many lives.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Outstanding and dedicated in every way.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

establish a “Voices of Survivors” center for the exploration of every aspect of cancer survivorship in all media formats.

Ways to make it better...

My experience was excellent in every way.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

maintaining the steady flow of regular (familiar) features while introducing new ones.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

January 15, 2010

more

January 15, 2010

Voices of Survivors Foundation gives a voice to cancer survivors and enables them to share their stories with others affected by cancer. I was able to share my own journey with the founder and executive director Lynn Lane and countless others. This enabled me to talk about important issues that effect cancer survivors in similar situations. Sharing my experiences was very helpful, but more important the Voices of Survivors foundations provides me the ability to learn about other survivors; their triumphs and struggles. This has helped me by knowing I am not alone in my experiences and I am able to reach out to other survivors. Lynn Lane is constantly coming up with new ways to support cancer survivors.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

sharing my story and being given the opportunity to talk about end of life issues for cancer patients.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Working with the founder and executive director Lynn Lane

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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