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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I only have great things to say about the Voices of Survivors Foundation and its Founder, Lynn Lane. Although still in its infancy, it's an excellent organization that is already making waves. I have found that the organization is transparent, accessible and always looking for new ways to share the voices of cancer survivors across the world. Utilizing technology, Voices of Survivors Foundation gives survivors and co-survivors a chance to share their unique survivorship perspectives, offering hope to thousands others. Recently I have been working with Voices of Survivors Foundation to benefit nursing education, as nurses and other healthcare professionals retain education better once it has a "face" and a "story" and is no longer an obscure concept embedded in a lecture or paper.
The Voices of Survivors Foundation has given cancer not only a face but a voice to go with it. I've been in the trenches with two types of cancers since my initial diagnosis in 2004. At that time there were not too many outlets for me to turn to. When you are diagnosed as a young mother with cancer and noone around you has it or has had it, you feel very alone. It's almost an outcast type of feeling. Noone understands what you are going through and it is a very scary and lonely time. The Voices of Survivors Foundation has allowed many people to share their stories in the written word and also HEAR their stories. There is quite a difference between reading about someone's cancer and hearing about it from their mouth to your ear. It's heartwarming, it's hopeful, it's a reminder that you are not alone and you CAN get through your cancer. Voices bonds us and allows us to come together as cancer community. Everytime there is a new Survivor story it instills HOPE in those who are battling the disease. I have not personally been able to meet the founder of VOS Lynn Lane in person, however through the wonderful social networking within the cancer community we have become great friends. Lynn is someone I admire and truly respect. I look forward to where the Voices of Survivors Foundation is headed. I believe in this foundation and know they have great things on the horizon. I know they will continue to be an extraordinary way for cancer survivors to help other cancer patient's in any stage of their disease by sharing their "voices" with the world.
I first met Lynn Lane, the Executive Director of Voices of Survivors, in August of 2009 when he relocated back to Houston to focus on growing the foundation. As a 7-year survivor, I took great interest in learning more about his work in sharing stories of hope and survivorship. Indeed, the first evening after meeting Lynn I spent a solid 3 hours online reading through story after story written by individual survivors. The writings are candid, raw and often emotional. They help you see past statistics and into the hearts and minds of people who are living with or have overcome cancer. Some made me cry, many made me laugh, and all of them touched my heart. Then Lynn asked if I would like to share my story. I wasn't super confident about sharing until he said this: "You have a powerful voice. You should share it." OK, I'll try. It was the most challenging piece I have ever written. How do you fit 7 years into words? How can my story of survivorship be molded into paragraphs? After weeks of trying, my story unfolded into words and Lynn put it on the website in the "Written Word" section. Just the practice of writing the piece was therapeutic somehow. I also hoped that my story would reach anyone who might need it. I wanted other survivors of MDS to know they are not the only one. For other young adult cancer survivors, you have something in common. In the weeks after my story was published, three people surviving with MDS have contacted me. A mini support group. One of the things I most admire about Lynn is his accessibility - he is widely available to have coffee, to speak on the phone and is very responsive on email. There are not many Executive Directors who will take your call at 9pm if you need someone to listen. Lynn is also a champion of self advocacy: You are your own best advocate. That's a powerful message, especially in this age of insurance giant and corporate driven health care. He truly cares about the individual survivor. I truly appreciate the work of Lynn Lane and the Voices of Survivors. If you are a cancer survivor or if you know someone affected by cancer I hope you read through and find hope in the stories of survivorship.
As one of the very first survivors to share my "voice" with Voices Of Survivors, I have been involved since it's beginning. Lynn Lane, founder and cancer survivor himself, is an incredibly bright and caring man who has created a foundation that gives individual cancer survivors a chance to share their specific story in a totally unique and personal manner. In such a simple way Lynn has empowered so many people to feel less like victims and more like warriors. In today's world of a million colored ribbons and denominated "honorary cancer months" Voices Of Survivors has introduced countless survivors to one another in a universal atmosphere in which all cancers are treated equally. I know this young foundation has only just begun to show it's full potential and I personally am extremely excited to see where it takes us in the future.
One of the most common reactions on receiving a cancer diagnosis is a feeling of utter and total 'aloneness'. It's a struggle to absorb and come to terms with the sudden change in your life; and that soul-searing 'aloneness' can be utterly debilitating. When I was diagnosed with advanced Testicular Cancer back in 2000 I was hungry for information, I found good helpful information through Lance Armstrong's website and posted a simple 'Thank You' in the Guestbook. I knew a little more about my condition but I was still awfully 'alone'. Some days later I checked my e-mails and came across one from a total stranger half a world away - he'd seen my 'Thank you' note and sent me an e-mail to say that he'd just completed the journey I was embarking on and if I wanted to talk he was available. Suddenly, I was no longer alone, I had just 'heard' the most powerful voice I could have heard at the time - the voice of a survivor. Doctors can tell the patient plenty, usually about their treatment - the medical procedures you'll have, the chemistry they are about to 'play' on your body - all good stuff but, in truth, nothing compared to the survivor's voice. The patient's attitude is paramount to the success of any cancer treatment and anything that supports a positive attitude at a time of extreme stress is worth more than it's weight in gold - quite simply it's life-saving! This is what the VoS Foundation does, and does so brilliantly, it collects survivors' voices and makes them freely available. It provides people recently diagnosed with hope; it supports people experiencing difficulty while undergoing treatment and gives them, often much-needed, added determination to battle on to eventual victory over this hideous disease which has tresspassed upon and threatened their life. In short, and without any hint of hyperbole whatsoever, VoS saves lives! There can surely be no higher human achievement!
I'm a survivor of testicular cancer and I joined The Voices of Survivors Foundation to hear other cancer survivors stories and also make new friends in the "survivors" world....I haven't been disappointed....it really is inspiring to hear about how other people have beaten their cancer and also how, in many cases, cancer has changed their lives for the better....just to read or hear how positive people can be during such tough times is a credit to society.....Voices of Survivors is a great foundation and it really does show me as a survivor that I am not alone....I've made new friends to chat with and reading or hearing at least one story a week on their Facebook group really does brighten up my day.....Voices of Survivors does a fantastic job and really does help and inspire many people who have felt they were alone in their fight against cancer....long may the foundation continue.....
Lynn Lane and Voices of Survivors allows people who have cancer tell their stories and experiences with the disease...through Facebook and other social networking sites, we can converse with others....giving each other support, treatment options and HOPE. I have met a number of Great friends through VOS's and will have them for the rest of my life. If you have cancer, this is a GREAT site.
Wonderful and simple mission. Lets cancer survivors know they are not alone in their fight. Exec Director is an incredibly passionate and talented individual.
I'm 29 years old and I am living with a chronic cancer. Voices of Surivors has allowed me to share my own voice with the entire world, while connecting me with thousands of other cancer survivors. It has been a therapeutic and magical experience for me. Words cannot possibly express my gratitude to this foundation.
This foundation does many things that are wonderful, but two things in particular, in my opinion, are the most significant. The first thing is does is give the person sharing their story a voice to share their experience with cancer. In this, it is a therapy in itself. Giving voice to a cancer survivor/fighter is a part of growing stronger than the cancer itself, highlighting their strength and determination to beat it. This is invaluable to a person who sometimes needs to be reminded inwardly of how tough they are. Being apart of this foundation, definitely does this. The second part is for the person who the story is shared with. Be it a current cancer patient/survivor/co-survivor, or even a person who fears a cancer diagnosis, hope, inspiration and relation are passed on from these stories. Voices of Survivors, is like a beacon from a lighthouse. Imagine if you will people out in a fog, like ships looking for the harbor. That beacon brings them home, shows them where it is safe and shows people that they are not alone and that they can win this battle. Voices of Survivors is definitely a beacon of hope that should be shared throughout the world.