For and about Cancer Survivors in Second Life, and for anyone who has been touched by cancer

Saturday, January 31, 2009

ACS unfolds plans to expand its support programs in SL

Stingray9798 Raymaker (the American Cancer Society representative in SL) is the first to acknowledge that he is a "noob", who once managed to delete an entire building. (You're not the only one, Sting. I managed to delete my house!) But his vision of how ACS will evolve in the future is far from rudimentary.

Speaking at Nonprofit Week last Thursday, Sting used the opportunity to unfold ACS plans to expand its support group program in SL to match its RL programs, as well as offering help and advice to other nonprofits.

He first outlined the current programs on the American Cancer Society sim, including The Hope Haven which he described as "the cornerstone of how the ACS provides much needed support for cancer survivors who live in Second Life", the "Makeover Magic" program which is scheduled to happen twice in 2009, and a breast cancer education and awareness program based on the real life Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program.

New projects include the Media Library, where avatars can browse resources of information, and a new series of lectures on cancer information organized by Ren Stonecutter, a RL physician who is already a popular speaker on the island.

Forthcoming plans include a support group (Man to Man) for men only, and another program, Reach to Recovery, for breast cancer survivors to “mentor” newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.

Another, more aggressive plan involves access to the ACS's National Cancer Information Center. The NCIC consists of cancer specialists who currently answer all phone calls (24/7) to the ACS toll free hotline…1-800-ACS-2345. Emphasizing that this is still in the very early stages of development, Sting continued: "If this project is rolled out, we would be able to provide immediate information and resources to cancer patients and loved ones in-world just the same as we do when they call on the phone in RL. I do not mean to create an expectation that this will become available in the near future - but it is one of my pet projects that I will work diligently on because the need is so great."

In closing, Sting offered the following thoughts to nonprofits and also mentioned that ACS will in future be offering its meeting spaces to nonprofits who do not own their own sim:

"Since entering Second Life, the American Cancer Society has existed on the support of one staff person and countless volunteers. Our budget allocation is minimal, at best, and we exist primarily because of generous volunteers who donate their time and talent.

"The key to our success has always been the organization’s willingness to support and legitimize our volunteers’ efforts. It shouldn’t take a lot of money to exist in SL, if you stay true to the mission of your organization."

Orange Island and the Nonprofit Commons teamed up to present Nonprofit Week which was held from Monday, January 26th to Thursday, January 29th.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Trader cycles his socks off for cancer research

Some people think about it, others talk about it, and a few go for it.

Trader1 Whiplash was one of our first Fighting Spirit speakers in Hope Haven on the American Cancer Society island in SL. As a real life leukemia survivor he is passionate about Relay for Life of Second Life and as co-owner of T1 Radio which covers the event live he is sometimes known as the 'Voice of Relay". This year he is taking on the in-world challenge of Mission Integrity Chair for RFL of SL 2009. And in real life, he is taking on another challenge ...

In June, Trader is going to be cycling his socks off when he hopes to take part in the America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride - Lake Tahoe - as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. The aim is to raise funds to help stop blood cancers from taking more lives.

If you would like to support him or just take a peek see:

WTG Trader!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

SL volunteers have their say on healthcare!

Draxtor Despres has captured the SL community discussion on healthcare reform needs in this machinisma which is now on Utube.

One of the people interviewed was cancer survivor Hylonome Quintessa - WTG Hy! For her full report see:

Siri Vita who organised the discussion also spoke persuasively about the advantages of holding such a meeting in SL where people who cannot easily get out and join in real life neighbourhood discussions (and who are often those most impacted) can have their say.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Reforming health - the SL community has its say

Hylonome Quintessa, a breast cancer survivor and member of SL Cancer Survivors Group, attended a meeting of representatives of health and support organizations in Second Life to discuss health care reform in the United States, and has sent in this report.

The Obama/Biden Health Care Policy transition team has called for Americans everywhere to gather and speak their minds about how best we can fix our broken health care system in the United States. Residents of Second Life were no exception.

Despite terrible glitches on SL, many attended an event on Monday December 29 at The Cafe in Port Spinoza, representing many concerned groups involved in health support and information in SL. Members of SL's Justice League appeared in their capes to make sure only those with invitations entered, but in the end they themselves commented as well. Siri Vita expertly moderated the event.

The goal of the discussion was to draft a response to specific questions about how policy changes could bring about health care reforms. The attendees were asked to give input on the following questions and also filled in a notecard with their responses at the end of the meeting.

1) What do you perceive is the biggest problem in the health system?

2) What do you think is the best way for policy makers to develop a plan to address the health care system problems?

3) After this discussion, what additional input and information would best help you to continue to participate in this great debate?

The event was filmed by Draxtor Despres who is making a documentary which will be submitted to President-Elect Obama's health policy team.

A further meeting to discuss the responses will be held in January.

Hylonome Quintessa

To read further about the Obama-Biden plan see:

New schedule for cancer caregivers meetings

Willow Lundquist has announced that the caregivers support group will meet twice weekly going forward, Sundays at 10 am SLT and Wednesdays at 7 pm SLT. The meetings will alternate between Hope Haven and Willow's place. Please contact Willow if you would like to learn more.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

A HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR to ALL of us in 2009 and may at least one of (y)our dreams come true.

Groovy Winkler will be starting off our 2009 'Fighting Spirit' talks on Sunday January 4 when he will be speaking about his personal cancer journey fighting a rare disease called pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) that affects only one in a million people. We'll be meeting as usual in Hope Haven on the American Cancer Society island at 12 noon SLT.