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Beginnings: Prequel to a Launch

a new rough study of

a new rough study of "The UnPatient Revolution" logo

T-3 to the BattleSuite Crowdfund Lift-Off

In three days, I will launch the first ever crowdfunding campaign for “The UnPatient Revolution”.  The funds will be used to equip care-challenged patients diagnosed with serious disease, in particular patients diagnosed with advanced cancer, with strategies and tactics to help them fight and win the battle to get their health and life back.  

I borrowed the term “UnPatient” from a talk given at what was then called FutureMed Conference in 2013 held by Singularity University at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego.  I liked the term so much that I decided to own it and run with it.  The UnPatient takes full responsibility for her own health care.  Beyond being a participant of the quantified-self movement, the UnPatient considers herself the CEO and key agent towards the health and life she envisions for herself.  

At that moment in November 2013, I set myself to be the epitome of the passionate UnPatient, doing every unlikely impossible thing in the quest to get my health back.  I was already operating that way  but I credit Futuremed 2013 for giving me “permission” to unleash myself fully in the strong self-directed approach I fought for from the beginning.  I learned to live bravely into such an internally powerful role.  Never mind that I started with very little resources with no caregiver.  I was determined to live and I was not going to allow the direst of circumstances to discourage me or stop me.

Just a few months prior, in May 2013, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer of a very rare form.  Despite the utter lack of research or data about the type of cancer I was dealing with (except for the Chief of Oncology at Stanford Cancer Center, Dr. George Sledge, calling it an “oddball” cancer), I went ahead with treatments on my own terms, adopting the philosophy and principles I laid out in “The UnPatient Manifesto.”  Incredibly and against all odds, I won, at least for now.

The gap of experience from being told I was dying in 2013 to finding myself very much alive and living near the close of 2015 is a very rich one.  I have learned a great deal in the 10 years of my brand of unconventional fighting.  My original diagnosis had been in October 2005.  Last month I celebrated my 10th year anniversary and being pronounced “No Evidence of Disease.”   What a triumph!!!

From what survives in my gritty heady harsh sublime landscape of memory, I have acquired broad and deep perspective on what it really takes to get from serious illness to true sustainable health.  I have the capacity to articulate and impart these priceless nuggets to others and so I shall.  Now that I am alive, I want to make it worth it!

After seeing so many lose the battle, I feel I owe it to humanity to share my knowledge, practices and principles that work to those who need it the most.  Just a few weeks ago, I lost two friends to advanced cancer within a few days of each other.  I lost my grandfather and my best friend to cancer.   How I wish I had helped all of them with what I know now and what I am about to know.   None of the top medical conferences I attended recently predicted cancer going away anytime soon.  Cancer is predicted to affect one out of every four humans in the planet in a few years.  

The need is therefore extremely urgent.  Thus my decision to work full-time on building what I call The UnPatient Revolution Battlesuite so that I can distill everything I know to a dense set of knowledge, strategies and tools that will arm and equip care-challenged cancer patients for battle with a mind and heart set to win.

I consulted my best friend, genius artist, wordsmith and PR whiz Amor Damaso on what she thought a good logo image could be for The UnPatient Revolution.  She suggested something like the image you see above.  The letter U stands for the UnPatient.  The Rx stands for both for “revolution” and “prescription”.  The logo underscores the most important defining characteristic of an UnPatient.  She leads the charge for her own health care.  She is the top decision maker in the care team. Rx means she prescribes what is best for her and takes action.  This does not mean that she does not listen to the doctor or honor his expertise.  It does not mean she will suddenly take drugs without prescriptions or self-medicate based on her own logic.  The Rx simply means she knows she is the boss and CEO of her own journey.  She knows she is the best person for the job and she always moves forward with this in mind.  I think this rough logo captures what this revolution is all about and for now I am keeping it.  If you have any thoughts about the logo concept or the concept of the UnPatient, please do let me know.   UnPatients are voracious learners so if you have something important to teach me, please do.

Tomorrow I will talk to you about my work as The UnPatient practitioner and advocate/teacher for others.  I will talk to you about my work and friendship with a young man of 38 who was suddenly struck with Stage 4 colon cancer.  He has a beautiful wife and 5 young children ages 2 to 12.  When I met him, he was troubled anxious and depressed after a fresh diagnosis that felt like a death sentence to him.  I’ll tell you about our first conversation and how I got him laughing within the first five minutes. 

I’ll also tell you how I worked with him as decision coach and the amazing results of our time discussing his options and surgery strategy.   I will also tell you how I helped him and his wife bust through every obstacle to finally being willing to create a crowdfund campaign as a means to help them take care of their 5 children while dealing with the pressures of fighting stage 4 cancer.   I saw how the time I spent with him and his family made a difference and continues to make a difference.  I want to continue to do more for him and many others but in very large scale and with high growth numbers.    I absolutely believe it can be done.  I hope you can join me in this quest to help others in a significant way that could very well not just save their lives but also offer inspiration and value to all those around them.  This work can offer priceless value not just to this country (the US) or the present time, but for nations (global impact) and generations.

I leave you with the link to their Crowdfund campaign on Generosity.com.  I hope you can take a look and help give Noah Standridge and his family a leg up in this critical transition point in their life as a family.

Until tomorrow then, have a wonderful Saturday!

With much appreciation,

Victoria Ferro

p.s.  I know its not yet Thanksgiving, but I wanted to show you a video AD I created for a large scale theatrical event I am involved with as videomaker and actor coming this December.  Creative Arts heal humans in a major way.  This is a very underexplored topic as far as what moves the needle towards healing thus this is definitely up for discussion and practice in The UnPatient Revolution.  Thanks again and hope to see you tomorrow!

When Exponential means Priceless

With Peter Diamandis when Exponential Medicine was still called Futuremed (2013)

With Peter Diamandis when Exponential Medicine was still called Futuremed (2013) not long after a tough 12-week regime of chemo

 

Inspiration is value because inspiration can save lives. Think about a person standing on a ledge waiting to jump to her death. If someone says something to her that inspires even a glimmer of hope, she will not jump. With severe life-threatening disease, if you think your situation is hopeless, why even try anything more?  It’s so easy to give up. Might as well go to Oregon and get euthanizing injections.  Or why not just curl up in a fetal position, stop taking meds, think depressing thoughts all day and wait for the inevitable.

Thankfully there are ways to counteract this.

One way is by acquiring knowledge backed by credible science. This is why conferences like Exponential Medicine mean the world to me. I have been following this particular conference and community for 3 years now. In this most elite of cross-disciplinary medicine conferences, I see the solutions that the smartest minds from around the world are working on and I realize that there is, in fact, hope. Some of the solutions I can implement today. For others, I have to wait a few years. They are all food and grist for hope for me. That’s part of why I can be strong despite all sorts of circumstances stacked against me.

That’s why when a doctor tells me “this is your best option” I can say, are you sure about that because I believe there might be a better solution. Have you ever thought about x or y? Most of the time a doctor would not have even thought of an option I put before them. It’s just not in their radar. But it’s in my radar because I make it my business to know what’s out there that can move the needle for me towards getting through stage 4 cancer alive. I will do everything in my power to not just get through this thing alive but be vibrantly healthy, fully functional and strong at the end of it, and thus able to work on my dreams, the dreams God put me on this earth to pursue.

I feel like I got a glimpse of what is at the very heart of Exponential Medicine when I had an encounter with Peter Diamandis on the last day of when Exponential Medicine was still called Futuremed in 2013.  I attended the conference just days after the conclusion of a tough 3 months of weekly chemo.  Given that I am not a physician or scientist, I had to shore up courage to approach Mr. Diamandis and tell him how I felt so inspired and encouraged and to thank him for the conference.  I did get to speak to him and also tell him of my challenge at the time, advanced metastatic breast cancer with an inoperable tumor. I did not go into detail, but oncologists then had told me that finding a cure was highly unlikely if not impossible, and palliation my only recourse.  One oncologist went so far as to tell me I was dying.

What Peter Diamandis did next I will never forget.  He put his hands on my shoulders and looked at me straight in the eye and with full presence asked “Did this give you hope?”  I understood him to mean the conference.   I said “yes!” with gratitude and enthusiasm.  He then gave me the most compassionate and warm hug.  That hug spoke volumes.  This man is authentic and truly wants to help people.  In that human gesture of shared hope, I understood that ultimately this conference at its heart was not just Disneyland for health and technology geniuses.  This is a place where people dream of ways to give people back their lives and create a future for them that just a year or two ago would not have been possible.  They don’t just dream this, they make it happen.

This hope and the knowledge, intuition and understanding gleaned from Exponential Medicine absolutely helped me get to N.E.D. No Evidence of Disease status just a few months ago.   Believe it or not, I got to N.E.D. after 10 years of fighting the disease without a human caregiver.  Exponential Medicine helped give me that gumption.  Check out my previous post to watch a video of Dr. George Sledge, Chief of Oncology at the Stanford Cancer Center make the N.E.D. announcement.

If Peter Diamandis asked me the same question after the conclusion of the 2015 conference just hours ago: “Did this give you hope?”  I would say yet again “YES, a resounding yes!”  Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Thank you Exponential Medicine! How you have inspired and educated me to be a rockstar** UnPatient is priceless!  I shed a few tears at the end of this year’s conference because what you do is such triumph. You helped me get my life back. More power to your amazing efforts to exponentially give people’s lives back.

What is also significant is that as an innovator thinker entrepreneur creator, I believe I may have finally I found my tribe.  An ecosystem like no other in the planet.  Now I know why I am still here and very much alive.

What I am about to do, may it be exponential.

**what a couple of oncologists at Stanford call me