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It is my immense pleasure to welcome you to the first ever Prevent Cancer blog carnival! Pull up your digital chair and take a seat – our writing advocates’ stories are educational, heartbreaking, sometimes humorous and always inspiring.

Before I pass along the “mic,” I’d like to thank the thirteen lovely writers who shared their experiences with open and honest hearts.

May the carnival commence!

“Children should get colds, scrapes and maybe a broken bone or two, but not cancer.” Prevention is a gift by Jan Bresch, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at Prevent Cancer Foundation

“Cancer survivors are often portrayed as heroic, doomed, sweet, patient and forbearing. I was none of these things: when I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer and told I had a 40% chance of living five years, I was not heroic; nor was I afraid. I had a two-year-old son and a six-month-old daughter. I was furious.” For my family by Dr. Michelle Jones

“If you asked, my mom would tell you she’s a simple lady. She likes strong coffee, gardening, running and her Detroit Tigers. She likes good TV, good music and her dog. This humility doesn’t do justice to the incredible life she’s led.” For my mother by Robin Jones Kerr, student at George Washington University

“My mind was screaming, ‘Please cancer, NO, don’t take one more person from me.’” It begins with prevention by Beth Westbrook Starnes

“Family and cancer are synonymous for me. Leukemia took my mother, uncle and grandmother all before I entered high school. Doctor visits were protocol; chemotherapy was the norm. Through all the pain and sadness of cancer, the strong bond of family was ever-present.” For my family by Rebecca Helberg, Basic Education and Volunteer Coordinator at So Others Might Eat Center for Employment Training

“I remembered the belated birthday card I had received from my Uncle earlier that afternoon. He wrote, ‘You are following the family tradition of finishing your undergraduate studies and then moving far away from home. Your parents did it, your Aunt Izumi did it, and now it is your turn.’” For my Aunt Izumi by Sarah Hayashi, student at Royal College of Music

“The doctor said, ‘You are my poster child for getting a colonoscopy at age 50.’” My colonoscopy saved me by Valarie Everett, healthcare advocate

“My father encouraged me to take something positive out of his horrible experience to find a way to help others. When delivering his eulogy, I made a commitment to devote my life to cancer prevention and early detection.” I prevent cancer for…you! by Jenny Twesten, Coordinator of Research and Programs at Prevent Cancer Foundation

“Me me me me…let me just put it out there. I don’t want it.” 5 reasons by Sandi G, blogger at Edible Potential

“I am involved in the effort to prevent cancer as it is near and dear to my heart.” My experiences with cancer by Margaret L. Turley, Administrator at Writers Unite to Fight Cancer

“Everyone notices you as the new student while you are desperate for just one friend. For me, that friend was Betsy Wood, a girl in my class with an adorable nose and long dark braids who was nice to me in the cafeteria.” For my friend of 40+ years by Susan Evans, Senior Strategist at mStoner

“All of these women give so much to their friends, family and communities. I prevent cancer because they deserve to have someone looking out for them too.” For the women who hold up my world by Katherine Leung, student at Wellesley College

“I fight cancer to help eradicate its rude bullying that steals the innocence of life right out of you. I fight to prevent cancer because it is an intrusion. I fight cancer because it is unnecessary, and there are so many other things that deserve our attention.” Because I care by Dr. Robin B. Dilley

Have ideas for the next carnival? Contact Rebecca Evans at Rebecca.Evans@preventcancer.org. Thank you for typing to Stop Cancer Before It Starts!