Earlier this week I was inspired by a woman who showed me how everyone can make a difference in someone’s life. She showed me that it’s the size of your heart that matters.
Shari Tucker is a local photographer. Several years ago she was approached by Photo Sensitive, a not-for-profit organization, to take a photo of a cancer survivor, family member, or someone that has been lost to the disease, to include in a travelling exhibit. She was interested in participating, but realized she was in a rare position, where she knew no one that had been stricken by cancer. A friend put her in touch with two survivors in the community, and they became Shari’s inspiration for change.
Following their meeting, she was determined to find something she could do to help others be inspired by their stories of survival. Today, Shari is celebrating the publication of her second coffee-table book, Young and Fearless. This book is filled with amazing stories and engaging photographs of Nova Scotian cancer survivors of all ages and backgrounds. A book filled with hope, for people who need a bit of inspiration in their own journey.
Anyone can make a difference — Shari is an example of this. When someone tells you they’ve been diagnosed with cancer, it’s one of those moments that make most people uncomfortable and unsure how to react. You want to show your support but generally have no idea how.
It’s the little things we do that can make a difference. Here are some ideas. Start a neighbourhood “watch” group, with a collection of neighbours taking turns cleaning the driveway or mowing the lawn. Bring a prepared meal for the family, offer to watch their children so they can get some much-needed alone time, drive them to a doctor’s appointment, or just be there to visit and bring some cheer into their day. Anything helps.
With so many of us living so far away from our natural support networks, our families, having a little bit of hope and support from the people around you — no matter how well you know them — could make a world of difference. Just because someone is diagnosed with cancer doesn’t stop them from being your friend, neighbour or colleague. It also means that you shouldn’t stop being that ally, when someone needs you the most.