World Cancer Day 2014

I don’t know about you, but I remember New Years Eve like it was last night.  But if I look at my phone it says that we are already in February!  Our world is changing rapidly.  I just wrote down a few items on my Vision board and they have already manifested themselves.  Just like accepting more than thirteen scholarships last year to become a more educated, networked and informed advocate, I have continued to send my applications to graduate school to study Public Health hoping to get in and a scholarship.

All I know is that I am a human bridge.  From attending both Komen and the NBCC Conferences last year, all I know is that we have a lot of work to do.  Breast Cancer is a highly political forum and as each day progresses, our healthcare system is creating more and more survivors that I hope to inspire to be empowered advocates.  The entire system in which research dollars enter competitively to the new Healthcare laws in the US still leave me wondering how change can ever occur to significantly impact the growing cancer burden.  Visiting Uganda last year I was exposed to the global cancer epidemic and even today, on World Cancer Day, I signed the World Cancer Declaration and could not find one representing organization from which I was referred.  Ultimately, it was volunteers from UWOCASO in Uganda who were so passionate about coming together for the first time with the support of Dr. Gralow and the Women’s Empowerment Cancer Advocacy Network that I recognized from the list.  Now I am left wondering why or where the other local advocacy agencies exist within Texas with a mission large enough to encompass global advocacy?

What I do know is that I’ve received ten copies of a book hot off the press entitled, “Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care – Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis” from the Committee on Improving the Quality of Cancer Care: Addressing the Challenges of an Aging Population and the Institute of Medicine and plan to start a book group consisting of educated advocates to discuss ideas and issues on a consistent basis, so that we can hope to make a difference advocating for a future without cancer.

If you have this book, or want to join my group, please contact me at sandymcastillo@gmail.com or 713-232-9796.  Thank you.