Last year
SOCIAL SUPPORT FOR LYMPHOMA
Help ease the mental stress of cancer sufferers.  ~ 

LAST week the world remembered lymphoma.

Campaigning for Cancer, an organisation that supports people affected by cancer, used World Lymphoma Awareness Day to raise interest about the disease by tweeting with the hashtags #EverythingChanges and #WLAD.

Lauren Pretorius, CEO of Campaigning for Cancer, said the small things people say or post about lymphoma can make a big difference to a person gravely affected by the disease.

“It may be preparing their favourite meal or simply showing your support by engaging with them on social media.”

She said people could now post their messages of support to people affected by lymphoma.

“Whether you are a patient or relative, healthcare professional or caregiver, people with lymphoma, their families and friends pay attention to the emotional support, which can make a big difference,” she said.

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph glands and the lymphatic system. It happens when lymphocytes – the white blood cells that fight infections – start growing into tumours.

The disease has symptoms that can be mistaken for flu or fatigue. Only about 35% of patients with lymphoma are diagnosed based on initial symptoms so many are missed until it’s too late.

“This is the first time that there has been a globally co-ordinated campaign: 64 countries are participating, South Africa included, to create a worldwide network of lymphoma sufferers, their caregivers, loved ones, and healthcare practitioners.”

She said it’s a step in the right direction to create awareness about lymphoma and to generate support for treatment access for patients.

Those affected by lymphoma will also be invited to join the conversation by sharing the small things that make the biggest difference in their lives. All they need to do is:

- With a pen and piece of paper, write down what small thing made a big difference to your life after being diagnosed with lymphoma.

- Take a clear picture of yourself with your written statement.

- Upload the picture to your social media feed using the hashtags #WLAD and/or #EverythingChanges.

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