Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Finding hope in the face of cancer

Life – a life full of things to love – is still possible following a cancer diagnosis. That’s the message VCU Massey Cancer Center is spreading through a new marketing campaign designed to foster hope for those facing cancer.

The “Life and Love After Cancer” campaign is intended to lift the spirits of the cancer community by sharing inspirational stories submitted by real people who are embracing their second chance at life. Through a mix of digital, social and traditional media, including billboards and print, TV, radio and online banner ads, the campaign encourages survivors to share how they’re loving life after cancer by submitting their stories and photos at lifeandloveaftercancer.com.

“While we launched the campaign on Valentine’s Day, the love stories we’re sharing are not limited to couples or romantic love. After cancer, someone can rediscover their love of life in any form – their family, pet, skiing, the smell of flowers, whatever things they love,” said Jenny Owen, director of public relations and communications at Massey.

The survivorship story at the heart of the campaign features Iva Petrosino. After Massey helped her defeat lymphoma, Iva found love with Joe and married him, and they are now discovering the sweetness of parenthood with their baby daughter, Lucianna.

Bob Holdsworth, an oral cancer survivor living in New Hampshire, rediscovered his love of the outdoors and is now hiking and camping in the backcountry of Africa and America. Five years after surviving cancer, he fulfilled a lifelong dream of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Mary Huddleston, a 17-year-old two-time survivor of Ewing Sarcoma from Farmville, discovered a love of equestrian shows and is now a top 15 world champion in Hunter Under Saddle quarter horse competitions.

These are just a few stories that Massey hopes are the start of hundreds of encouraging stories to come. The campaign’s premise is that everyone has a story to tell, and it invites all cancer survivors – including those newly diagnosed, in active treatment, living with cancer and cured – to share theirs.

Facing the struggles of cancer can be traumatic, but surviving and even thriving is very possible. There are more than 13.7 million cancer survivors living in the U.S. today, according to the National Cancer Institute, and many enjoy active, full lives. Even with late-stage cancer, pain can be managed, the progression of the cancer slowed and patients and their families helped to cope.

“There is hope after a cancer diagnosis. Early detection and medical advancements through research have made survivorship a reality,” said Owen. “But the human spirit is powerful and equally important. And that’s what this campaign celebrates and what we hope to help lift.”

How are you loving life after cancer? Share your story at lifeandloveaftercancer.com.

Written by: Alaina Schneider

Posted on: February 21, 2013

Category: Clinical news