What were my first words after the surgeon said, “I’d give you about 30 days to live”?
It was September of 1984 when I was first diagnosed with lung cancer. After removing my left lung and going through radiation therapy, I thought I was out of the woods. But four months later, a lump about the size of half a grapefruit appeared on my neck. Surgery was scheduled. The surgeon opened and, after exploring the area, determined it was too dangerous to proceed. The next morning, he came into my little alcove in the intensive care unit and said, “Greg, the tiger is out of the cage. Your cancer has spread. I’d give you about 30 days to live.”
I lay there in silence contemplating the implications of what I was just told. But then I heard myself praying, “Lord, use this, use me, to help the next person, the next family, going through cancer.” I have prayed similar versions of that prayer every day for 35 years. Today I not only survive, I thrive.
Shortly thereafter, we started our work with cancer patients. We called it “Cancer Conquerors” and the tagline was “Conquering Cancer with Hope and Healing.” Hundreds of people flocked to our meetings. So many who came had uncontrolled fear in their eyes. They were equating cancer with death. We taught the integration of body, mind and spirit. We encouraged people to work with their medical team but we also asked, What would God do? And we did so—comforting, consoling, encouraging, praying—as best we knew how. Cancer Recovery Foundation developed out of these humble beginnings and is now an integrated cancer care program with millions of followers around the globe.
Now we have launched the “Re-imagine Campaign.” The campaign’s major goals are to diversify sources of revenue, to evolve into a digitally-driven charity, and to establish an advocacy arm to protect the rights of cancer patients. Our first advocacy objective is to ensure pre-existing condition coverage is included in any proposed health insurance reforms. If you or someone you know has had a life-threatening illness, pre-existing coverage is critically important, absolutely mandatory. Yet today there are healthcare reform proposals that omit pre-existing coverage. This is totally unacceptable. You will soon be hearing more about our efforts in this area and I ask that you generously support them.
Join with us as we re-imagine a better world for cancer patients. I send my love and prayers.
Greg Anderson, President & CEO