If someone would have asked me last year around this time what I would be doing 1 year from then, I would have never thought of saying I would be planning a trip to India to volunteer. A year ago, most of my time was spent in hospitals receiving cancer treatment. After the surgeries, chemotherapy and follow up treatments were done you would think it’s over, but it is not. Learning to cope with the changes in my life or as some would refer to “the new normal” has not been an easy path.
Not too long ago I set myself on a journey looking for answers on how to get back to normal as I battle through depression, anxiety, survivor’s guilt and overwhelming thoughts of relapse. That journey took me to a life retreat hosted by Athletes For Cancer where I came across a great organization, A Fresh Chapter. They offer the opportunity for Cancer Survivors as myself, to volunteer around the world while allowing us to experience new cultures, help and inspire others, meet people like us and have the opportunity for a fresh start.
Audacious and hopeful, A Fresh Chapter’s mission is to heal the emotional scars of cancer through volunteering and meaningful travel. In March 2016, I will join other people impacted by cancer for a two-week volunteer program in India. Whether spending time with disabled men at Mother Teresa's, working with kids at an underfunded daycare in one of Delhi's slums, or helping underserved youth through a career empowerment program, I will build new connections, gain perspective, and step beyond my story of cancer to help create a ripple of good in the world. Be an ambassador for cancer in a country where the disease is often viewed with secrecy, stigma, and shame.
Yes. This is where I am today, planning a trip to India which will happen in the next 3 weeks. Even though I don’t have a lot of time to plan, this trip feels right for me NOW in my heart and mind. I am determined to take this once in a lifetime opportunity and through my eyes share this experience with everyone I know. The timing for me could not be better at this point in my life. Although these trips usually take 6 months to a year to plan, I am trying to do it in 3 weeks because it is very important to me. It has never been in my nature to ask for help, and it is something I am working on to be better at. This trip means so much to me that I am reaching out to my family, friends, colleagues and anyone who wants to pitch in for help. Fundraising is a crucial part of this trip, the money raised will help cover program costs, flights, meals, volunteering, logistics and planning costs.
Thank you very much for your contribution, I promise that your generosity will go a long way and I am committed to paying it forward.
A Fresh Chapter (Alliance Foundation) is a Project in affiliation with Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE) a non profit public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations will be used to cover program related costs and all US Donations of $100+ are eligible for a tax receipt. Thank you for your support!