I've learned a lot over the years about cancer and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Of course, I've had to experience it at my own speed, as many of us do. My mom told me early on that sugar was something I needed to avoid, however my doctor encouraged me to eat whatever I wanted so I did. Long story short, the Cancer came back fast and there I was fighting for my life again, it was like a boxing round, constantly being knocked down - I kept strong and fought on.
After gaining over 100 pounds from the steroids I was on, my health was suffering. I was diagnosed years after treatment with Steroid induced type 2 diabetes, among other things.
I learned fast that something had to give. It was either my health or what I was eating. So, over the years, I embraced a healthier lifestyle... eating better, working out and eventually got myself to a better place and over 150 pounds lighter! I was half of me & more flexible than I had been in my entire life!
What I've learned from all of this was that fitness, a healthy lifestyle and avoiding sugar was vital for continued survival. Partnered with a positive attitude because I wanted to have the best Quality of Life. Since this realization, I have decided to share this message with those with cancer across the country.
More details to come...
To Date, UCAAN has gone on 3 Cross Country Road Trips, Each with their Own Focus.
In 2011, UCAAN Founder, Rachel Shur and Assistant Sarah Reed Levy drove 8,500 Miles around the country in 21 days. The Focus? Connecting with Cancer Hospitals Nationwide to find out what information they provided cancer patients regarding preventative dental care. This is something Rachel is passionate about, after realizing the dental deterioration she was experiencing was from treatments. She didn't understand why preventative information wasn't common knowledge, especially between doctors, nurses and radiation techs. The step to prevention is simple: the use of Fluoride trays or topical varnish, something that costs far less ($200-450/year) than brand new teeth (to the tune of $45,000+).
In 2016, UCAAN Founder, Shur and her Best Friend/Volunteer Doryn Betton drove 10,500 Miles around the country in 41 days. Connecting with cancer organizations, cancer patients helped by UCAAN and cancer hospitals. Surveying & interviewing cancer patients and their families nationwide to find out what their biggest financial needs were. What UCAAN discovered was that patients had many needs from Care-giving, Transportation, Insurance Assistance to Emergency Expenses, many of which were not available to those that Shur & Betton spoke with. Video footage of the Needs of Patients can be found here.
Later in 2016, Shur embarked on another cross-country trip, this time with her friends Tiana Wade & Deann Conway, embracing the road for 21 days and driving a total of 9,500 miles. They met with numerous patients helped by UCAAN, met with more organizations to find out more about what they were doing to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients. UCAAN even visited the future location of Patch Adam's Hospital, but also an amazing piece of land meant for learning and embracing laughter - the Gesundheit Institute.