Exam season brings many things: negative degree weather, the end of a term, and the beginning of the holiday season. This holiday season, one St Andrews student hopes for those affected by cancer to have the support that they need post-recovery.
Natalia Bartolome, is a survivor of lymphatic cancer, and while her six months of chemotherapy were undoubtedly horrendous, one of the most challenging parts of her experience occurred, jarringly once she was cancer-free. Natalia says that once she had beaten her disease, “Suddenly, the entire support system that had been offered to me by the hospital, by friends and family vanished.” Continuing to state that, “Two years on I still suffer the effects…”
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which contains the bodies’ lymph nodes, white blood cells and other components of the bodies’ immune response. There are two main strands of the cancer; Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin, both of which can be very serious.
To help other cancer survivors have a better post-cancer experience than she did, Natalia has teamed up with the Lymphoma Association to spread awareness about lymphoma and the importance of cancer-recovery support systems. Natalia now, “run[s] campaigns for the Lymphoma Association, write[s] information leaflets with them and this year [she] was honoured to be awarded a beacon of hope award for my contribution to cancer work.”
The national Lymphoma Association charity is running a Christmas wish campaign to try and make sure that no one faces his or her lymphoma alone. As a national charity, they offer support and campaign year-round, however, in the spirit of Christmas, the Lymphoma Association is hoping that the season of giving will encourage people to contribute to their cause.
With a whole community of lymphatic (in addition to various other) cancer survivors, the Internet has become an important platform to share their stories and support one another. Natalia has her own blog that does just that.
With this blog, various published works in the form of information booklets, articles and video campaigns and a newspaper article in The Courier, Natalia is sharing her story to help spread awareness of lymphatic cancer and cancer recovery support systems in St Andrews. Natalia’s contributions so far have led to her winning the Beacon of Hope Award, by the Lymphoma Association, last month.
This giving season charities all over the country will be getting large numbers of donations in the spirit of the holidays, and perhaps Natalia Bartolome’s personal cancer battle story will encourage those in St Andrews to aid the Lymphoma Association and all those affected by lymphatic cancer.