Austin Cancer Survivor Shares Why You Should Amplify LIVESTRONG

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Austin Cancer Survivor Shares Why You Should Amplify LIVESTRONG

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - 3:45pm

CAMPAIGN: LIVESTRONG Helping Individuals


At 6pm tonight, March 8th, the city of Austin begins its annual 24 hours of giving – Amplify Austin. We have been a part of the Austin community for nearly 20 years and are so proud to help Austinites get access to the help they need to LIVESTRONG through and after cancer. Please donate to LIVESTRONG during Amplify Austin and help us help people like Genny truly live a full life after treatment.

My name is Genny, and I live in Austin.

I will always remember the day that I received my cancer diagnosis. It was June 17, 2014 and I had just had a colonoscopy, because my doctor wanted to “rule out” some vague symptoms that didn’t match up with anything else. I was young, I was healthy, and I was about to graduate from nursing school in a month and 1 day. I was in shock. That day in Baltimore was the first in a bewildering series of events that await all patients diagnosed with a serious illness. There are a huge number of decisions to make that will affect your prognosis, care, and your family. Initially my care took place in Baltimore, but we were able to move back to Austin, as planned, after my graduation.

It was here that I first encountered the LIVESTRONG Foundation through the work of Wonders and Worries – a local counseling resource for kids whose parents have cancer.(Wonders and Worries received their initial grant funding from the Foundation in 2001.)One of my friends arranged to have my 11-year-old daughter seen for counseling through Wonders and Worries during my hospitalization, which due to complications lengthened to almost 2 months. Their support was invaluable in helping my child to cope.

During my 6 month course of chemotherapy I took part in another LIVESTRONG program:LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. I had seen a pamphlet at Texas Oncology and called to find out about it, then was added to a waiting list for the start of the next session. I can’t tell you how much I looked forward to the start of the program, and it exceeded any expectations that I might have. The group was phenomenal and the trainers were amazingknowledgeable and inspiring all at the same time. Being in a group with other people who had cancer and had gone through the same challenges that I was experiencing was so helpful. The exercise itself and yoga sessions helped me to regain energy and endurance that I had lost and didn’t know that I would recover. My chemo became much easier to handle, and the exhaustion that I had once experienced all but disappeared.

Another LIVESTRONG program that I discovered was their LIVESTRONG Cancer Navigation Services. They connected me with the Patient Advocate Foundation, which helps people like me who have insurance issues that they cannot resolve alone. Through their local and national representative I was able to navigate the appeals process with my insurance company, which was critical to getting payment for my treatments.

All of these services were free. That’s right. Provided free of charge to cancer patients and their families. I will always be grateful to the LIVESTRONG Foundation for the assistance that my family and I received. We have gained so much, both in direct and indirect care from their programs, and it is the reason that I have not just survived but thrived. I support LIVESTRONG so that others can have the same resources available to them and their families in their time of need.

Please join me in supporting the LIVESTRONG Foundation during Amplify Austin!

Genny, 49
Austin Resident
Colon Cancer Survivor