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The Unpatient Revolution Fifth Year Anniversary: A Look Back

Five years ago while I was still dealing with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer,  I launched The Unpatient Revolution, an advocacy to help patients dealing with serious disease, in particular advanced cancer.  I was in my 30s when I was diagnosed for the first time in 2005.  By September 2014, I had already been fighting cancer for 9 years.  I had gathered a great deal of intelligence and strategy tips from battling the disease in 4 different countries.  And because more a dozen friends and family had already died after suffering from cancer, with several more people I personally know facing diagnosis, this became the moment I decided to be vocal about my specific journey.  I wanted to live.  I wanted others I care about to live too.

I would leverage my location in Silicon valley to learn everything I could about science, strategy, psychology, and spirituality that could move the needle to a cure, not just for myself but for all those battling advanced cancer.  Even while a patient in treatment, I attended several health conferences health at Stanford University.  I joined and am an active member of the Society for Participatory Medicine.

with Society of Participatory Medicine (SPM) co-members, Adam Lasnick of Google (producer of Project Euphoria) and Lynda Mitchell at this year’s HIMSS Global Conference held in Orlando, FL (3/2019)

I’ve had the privilege to participate in health industry conferences in Washington D.C. (Health Datapalooza),  San Diego (Exponential Medicine) , Orlando (HIMSS) and several in the Bay Area (Health 2.0, Bay Area Cancer Connections,) as a patient expert/analyst/journalist.  I’ve written several articles on TheUnpatient.com and have been published on the Lodestar.care and Wego Health blogs.  I produced an event called “UNcancer me:  Battle Scenes on Stage and Screen” that was staged at Dragon Productions Theatre in  Redwood City.  The event featured a staged reading of scenes I’ve written on highlights of my cancer journey, and a presentation on Creative Arts as a powerful therapeutic modality.  Aside from producer, I also performed as an actor and dancer.

Powerful celebratory dance finale of the Uncancer Me:  Battle Scenes on Stage and Screen,  performed by two stage 4 cancer survivors and patient leaders, with the irrepressible Amy Li, founder of Dance4Healing and StageIV.org.

As a patient expert/consultant, I produced Lodestar.care, a health concierge service designed to optimize patient safety and minimize cost.  I’m an active member of the Stanford Medicine X and Exponential Medicine communities.   I was a speaker at Patients 2.0 in Santa Clara last year, and just last month, I spoke on healing from advanced disease in two gatherings held in Punjab, North India.  This year, I was nominated as Patient Leader Hero in the Wego Health Awards.

Speaking on what I consider powerful keys to healing in Amritsar, Punjab, North India (9/2019)

I have also spent many hours supporting individual patients one-on-one at no cost to them.   I consider this my most important work.  Several of those I’ve supported with research, counselling and coaching still live today, but sadly, some did not make it.  I myself am so blessed to be celebrating four years of being found to be with “No Evidence of Disease” or NED.  But two of my dearest aunts passed away recently from end stage breast cancer and colon cancer respectively.  One of them, who was also my godmother, took special inspiration from my work, and appreciated especially the videos I posted on the Uncancer Facebook page.  She told me so when I visited her 3 weeks ago in Manila.  She passed away just days ago.   I very deeply grieve her loss and the loss of two friends who died of cancer in the span of two months (July-Sept 2019).  The pain of this loss is very fresh and is a huge impetus for me in making a re-commitment to do this work, taking all the lessons from all my efforts and struggles in the past fourteen years as patient/survivor/scholar/advocate, and using them to positively impact more patients worldwide.

With my dear oncologist, Dr. George Sledge, Chief of Oncology of Stanford Cancer Center, celebrating my 4th year of No Evidence of Disease

Since I launched the Unpatient Revolution five years ago, and the Uncancer movement as a focus within it, I realized that there are still more people that could be helped by my experience and by my brand of empowered scholarship and decision strategy.  I discovered that people read and consume my work anonymously because cancer is the kind of disease many don’t want to talk about publicly, and often prefer to keep confidential.  They find value in following my explorations, studies, writings and media. Indeed, the need appears to be greater than it ever has been before.  Given enough resources, I can delve deep and scale my efforts to reach more patients, even entire communities affected with cancer.  My extensive experience as an award winning digital producer and digital marketer gives me the ability to squeeze tremendous amounts of value from modest resources.

I invite you to invest your resources in helping me to optimize every asset I have to pour into helping cancer patients and people suffering with advanced disease, globally, this year (2019-2020).  I ask you to support my ongoing work of recovery and advocacy and give to the 5th anniversary fundraising of The Unpatient Revolution.

Funds raised will partly support my arts education and practice as a Screenwriting student at the Bethel Conservatory of the Arts.  I recently moved to Redding (while keeping my care team at Stanford) to be part of this incredibly immersive and excellent school.  This education is deeply therapeutic in many ways, with disciplines I intend to practice, share and teach, especially to patients and survivors.   Resources raised will also support the production of two multimedia books (The Unpatient Manifesto and Long Satisfied Life) and two screenplays in the space of one year.  The books will be published on Amazon as Kindle, Paperback and audio books.   And funding permitted, at least one of the screenplays will be produced as a hybrid documentary/feature film.  The resources would also free me to make myself available as a creative arts practice or decision coach to a number of patients dealing with advanced cancer

As we are dealing with cancer and advanced disease here, I make this request with a sense of urgency.

All of this work is designed to deeply inspire, educate and empower patients dealing with advanced disease, especially cancer.  But also this work is designed to help get me to 5 years NED.  My oncologist, Dr. George Sledge, does not call getting to 5 years NED a cure,  but it certainly it would be a major milestone.  In my case, it would certainly be a miracle, a miracle you can very much be a part of.

With my beloved and amazing sister, Gina Ferro, celebrating our birthdays together in Manila August of this year.  She is in remission after a recent diagnosis of stage 3 colon cancer.

Thank you for your friendship and encouragement.  Your generous financial contribution communicates that we are all in the journey towards better, more vibrant health together!

For US residents, your contribution through my fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas, is 100% tax deductible under the project “The Art of Victoria Valencia Ferro.”   Check out the 5th anniversary fundraising campaign page here.

For everyone else, please send your contributions through Paypal (email: victoriavferro@live.com) or through www.paypal.me/victoriaferro.

I also accept contributions in kind! My fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas, allows for contributions in kind to be  partially or wholly tax deductible for US residents.  Let me know if you have ideas!

Many thanks and blessings to you and yours!

With honor and deep appreciation,

Victoria

Maria Victoria Rosana Valencia Ferro
Chief Instigator, The Unpatient Revolution


With much gratitude to my sponsors over the years:

Health 2.0, Academy Health, Lodestar.Care, the Love from Margot Foundation, and the Society for Participatory Medicine

 

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