The Feeling Fab Cancer Awareness event on Saturday 30th November was truly wonderful.
I was a little apprehensive – I must admit – as I wasn’t sure what the response would be to such a dark feeling and vision about this disease. What can I say? My faith was tested beyond my imagination. The turnout was confirmation that this platform was a necessity.
Eddie Nestor from BBC London gave a testimony that I just can’t shake off. His experience was more than moving. No holds barred, Eddie expressed that if it had not been for his wife, he wasn’t sure whether he would still be here. Such a professional man who created a deep emotional energy which not only had each and every member of the room taking a sharp in-take of breath when sharing his emotions from diagnosis, but he also had us laughing – only Eddie could deliver a speech to create such a result.
Bianca Brown, all of 24 years of age had each and every member of the audience literally glued to their chairs. Her Cancer Diary detailed the personal experience from diagnosis to present day.
The emotional roller coaster that Bianca spoke about was more than moving, more than touching, and believe me when I say she touch hearts. 24 year olds today are too busy partying, too busy getting their hair and nails done, too busy looking at the latest shoes and clothes. This beautiful young lady is busy updating her cancer diary and logging the progress on her health. She was very open about the fluctuation in emotions she was experiencing.
The spirit and energy in the room gave many the confidence to feel secure enough to open up, it was as if those who were suffering had been doing so in silence. So when the opportunity came to speak many came forward.
Brenda Brown, mother of two, was having a pillow fight with her sons and noticed a lump, diagnosis confirmed her worst fear. However, with the support of her family, her sisters (one of whom was with her at the event) and the depth of her faith in God, Brenda has pulled through and is still pulling through daily, and recommends enormous daily doses laughter!
The whole room came to a standstill and you could hear a pin drop when 22 year old Shawna Green stepped up and gave her detailed account of discovering she had breast cancer whilst in university. We could all see how nervous she was, she stumbled a few times but it really didn’t matter because the love that was in the room was enveloping her. We didn’t know who she was when she came in, but we all acknowledged her before she left. The hugs were in full swing for Shawna and we saluted her for being brave enough to stand in a room full of people she didn’t know and just share her story.
Eddie Nestor mentioned that men don’t seem to very open in sharing emotional experiences, so when Gareth, father of four stepped up and asked if he could speak there was no way we were going to stop him. He moved us to tears, but it was clearly a platform he had been crying out for!
Alexandra Cardenas from MacMillan Cancer Support expressed her gratitude for the work involved in putting the event on and gave a full account of the work of MacMillan which reassured those who were in treatment and also the families of those who were in treatment – one thing that was evident that many of us had not been aware of was that the suffering is not only undergone by those having the treatment, the parents, siblings, and family members also go through a form of suffering too.
Marcia Patterson shared how during her chemo and radiation sessions she had time to reflect on life, and I think this was what the true essence of the event was about. Reflecting on the positive things in life, and as Brenda said, laugh a lot, it’s great medicine.
The Feeling Fab team are overwhelmed by the support shown at this event and we will be conducting another one soon. This kind of platform is desperately required for people to open up in an arena where they feel free to express their emotions whether they are suffering from this dreaded disease, are in remission, or are related to someone who was undergoing treatment.
A message from Feeling Fab member Jake
I’d like to thank Angie, those who helped run the event, and to everyone who came for making the day so successful.
As a Caucasian male I was a little unsure as to whether the event would have been thing for me to attend, but I am really glad my partner convinced me to go.
It was moving to see so many people supporting those who have dealt with cancer and even more moving to hear from those who’ve had (or currently have) the disease. Recently we’ve had a cancer scare in the family and it was very difficult for that family member to seek the medical advice and knowledge they needed, making that time extremely upsetting.
We left the room feeling more prepared to deal with that situation if it ever arises again as well as knowing that the c-word is not the end of the world, that people can recover.
I had a wonderful time and found the event interesting, informative, and inspiring. Having a space to talk about difficult issues has always been an important place in society (it was apt that Angie was running the event across the road from Speaker’s Corner) and events like this are certainly something we need to see more of.