LIVESTRONG: There is life after cancer
By LIVESTRONG on September 10, 2019
At LIVESTRONG, we fight for the more than 32.6 million people around the world affected by cancer, right now. We believe you become a survivor the moment you are diagnosed—it’s a mindset, not an outcome. And for survivors in the midst of treatment, it can be a chaotic (and scary) process. Beyond the fear and stress of facing a serious illness, survivors also have to navigate a complicated health care system, including juggling multiple referrals from oncologists to various specialists from physical therapists to fertility.
That’s why, in 2014, the LIVESTRONG Foundation committed to creating and supporting the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes of the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, envisioning a different kind of cancer treatment— where chaos is replaced with calm. The focus is not just cancer, it’s creating a life well lived for the whole person, their family and caregivers—all while providing and pioneering innovations in cancer treatment.
Our passion to reinvent the way cancer survivors are cared for and supported is inspired by cancer survivors like Liz, who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 11. Years later, Liz is still haunted by memories, like her very first chemotherapy treatment that resulted in excruciating pain and a fever so high her entire body had to be covered in ice. She remembers comforting her friends and telling them everything would be okay, even though she didn’t know if it would be true. She needed a bone marrow transplant.
Finding a donor can be a long and difficult process, but luckily, Liz’s brother was a match. Five months in to chemotherapy she received the life-saving transplant. But, she shared, “I don’t know if anyone could have adequately prepared me for life after cancer.”
She continued, “I struggle with the long-term effects of treatment: infertility, hypothyroidism, chronic graft versus host disease, depression, anxiety… to name a few! But I feel better prepared to handle these challenges because I know I am not doing it alone.”
“Cancer runs rampant across the globe and in my family. My mom is preparing for her journey against breast cancer, and while I fear the challenges she will face, I know that the LCI model is the catalyst to revolutionize cancer care throughout the nation.”
Decades of research and working one-on-one with survivors and their families has given LIVESTRONG an informed understanding of some of the largest challenges survivors like Liz face: chronic pain, loss of fertility, emotional distress, family instability, career impact, and long-term financial hardships. We are bringing this knowledge and research to the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes. Our comprehensive model of care puts survivors’ needs above all else, from the medical to the emotional to the practical. The LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes LCI’s doors opened to patients in December 2018.
When you make a monthly gift to LIVESTRONG, you’re telling the millions of cancer survivors that you’re standing with them each and every day. Your support ensures future generations facing cancer will have access to revolutionary patient-centered treatment, care, and support.
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