Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 8

Relationships
to be a true "Ruth." And that meant opening
up about cancer.
I genuinely felt led to advocacy, although
it was absolutely terrifying. It was a big leap
going from feeling shameful to announcing
to the world "Yeah, I had cancer. And I'm
here to tell you all about it!" I tried to view
it as taking the power back from those who
were ignorant or hurtful, and also helping
others feel comfortable to share their own
stories.
On a particular night where I felt discouraged and regretting my decision to go
public, I stumbled upon a TEDx talk by a
fellow AYA cancer survivor named Dave
Fuehrer. Dave was brutally honest about
his struggles, many of which we shared.
Not only did cancer also shatter his self
esteem, but he experienced the ending of a
relationship due to his diagnosis also. The
familiar tears returned, and this time they
were so heavy I couldn't see out of my eyes.
All I heard was Dave's voice validating my
feelings and experience. I knew right then
that I had to be a "Dave" for someone else,
even if it was just one person.
Dave is the CEO of a company called
GRYT Health, and on October, 5th 2019,
GRYT hosted the first ever Global Virtual
Cancer Conference. It was completely free
and all online, so it removed the barriers
of cost and transportation. I was beyond
humbled and honored to not only be part of
this event, but to be doing it with someone
who inspired me so much. It was the hope
that our session "So, You've Got The Good
Cancer?" with Ellis Emerson and Hailey
Johnston was just as validating as Dave's
TEDx talk for people with so-called "good"
or "easy" cancers. I left GVCC19 feeling on
top of the world and incredibly proud of
what we accomplished.
Later that month I got a private message
on the GRYT app from GRYT's partnership
manager, Thomas Hessney. Almost every
employee at GRYT is a cancer survivor or
caregiver, and Tommy is a caregiver for
his mother with Melanoma. It said, "You
didn't tell me you liked Andrew McMahon!!!" Keep in mind, I only had one brief
email exchange with Tommy for GVCC
up until this point. I may have liked his
tweets now and then, but we weren't close
enough to be discussing musical tastes.
I realized he figured it out as I wore my
Andrew McMahon asterisk pin (given to

8

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
MARCH 2020

DATING WITH CANCER

"I want
you to
know that
cancer
does not
disqualify
you from
love of
any kind."


http://www.elephantsandtea.com

Elephants And Tea - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - March 2020

Contents
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 1
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 3
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 4
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