We recently did a short video to mark World Cancer Day. Every February 4th is World Cancer day and for the last three years the theme has been #WeCanICan.
This social media friendly theme is quite simple and yet profound. It basically states that the fight against cancer doesn’t just lie in the hands of those who have the misfortune to suffer from it, but all of us- as a community and as individuals.
The things we can do aren’t very difficult or impossible and in fact, most people actually do most of them irregardless of cancer- things like making healthy lifestyle choices.
However, we tend to look at Cancer as a ‘thank god it’s not me’ kind of disease. Something that we pity and commiserate with others for having while praying that it never befalls us. It seems that our roles can be said to be that of reactive sympathizers.
World Cancer Day’s #wecanican campaign asks us to do more, especially as a community: for instance, we can create or push for the creation of healthier public spaces or work towards policies that will help people suffering from cancer in work and life, or push for more funding for cancer research.
As individuals, we can extend our support beyond sympathy and commiserations and be more supportive colleagues, coworkers and even employers. A lot of cancer sufferers worry about the effects on their careers, and a supportive workplace will at least give the sufferer one less thing to worry about.
We can share knowledge with one another and encourage each other to get tested and checked regularly.
Even though the #wecanican campaign ended this year, we can still do a lot and we can continue to do these things.