In the weeks after my husband’s kidney cancer diagnosis, I went back and forth between sheer terror and devastating anguish. There weren’t many moods in between. I couldn’t function at work, and I wasn’t much better at home.
I did what any normal person would do in that situation. I went on Facebook.
I found a kidney cancer group and picked out a woman who looked to be about my age and sent her a message. It was a desperate plea for help. I was seeking reassurance, a message of hope – I needed to know that I wasn’t alone. I needed to be connected with people who understood what I was going through, and I was lucky that day because Liz Lewis knew exactly what I was going through. Liz wrote back immediately. She connected me with an amazing community of patients and caregivers dedicated to supporting one another. Connecting with Liz didn’t take away the cancer or the fear, but knowing I wasn’t alone allowed me to find my footing and navigate a path forward.
Yesterday, when we announced the launch of KCCure, a nonprofit dedicated to raising funds for kidney cancer research, we were overwhelmed with the generosity of those who support this cause. More than that, however, we were deeply touched by messages sent to us through the website, Facebook and Twitter—messages from people struggling with the newness of diagnosis, from patients who are bravely surviving cancer every day, and from those who have lost loved ones to this disease. It reminded me of that day I reached out to Liz.
Wherever you are in this journey, I’m so grateful that this community of hope exists. And we, KCCure, exist for you.