Background and Context:
Advocacy is a key part of the coordinated global fight against cancer, and the best way to strengthen advocacy efforts is to elevate the human story behind the cause. The “I am Maximo. I am an advocate.” essay contest is a project of The Max Foundation through which individuals who have been impacted by a cancer diagnosis can share their inspirational stories and become an advocate for others.The title of the project refers to Maximo and the Big C, a storybook developed by The Max Foundation Maximo embodies the universal story of the advocate, who faced with adversity, finds courage to overcome fear, and realizes their calling to give back to community .
· To send 3 advocates to the 2014 UICC World Cancer Congress as an opportunity to provide learning, capacity building, and networking opportunities.
· To provide a platform for individuals impacted by cancer who have become advocates to give back to their communities.
· To inspire advocacy and promote volunteerism through the stories of individuals who have harnessed adversity in their own lives .
Essays will be solicited, reviewed and judged based on specific criteria. They will inspire others facing cancer to find the strength to become an advocate for others. They will contain an element of inspiration for those currently in a darker place.
Winners will receive paid trips to the UICC World Congress, and will each be paired with an experienced patient advocate. They will develop their patient advocacy skills, deepen their passion for the work, and return to their home countries to strengthen the grassroots cancer control movements .
Outcomes/What was learned: An eagerness in the community to be a part of such excercises and to share and learn from each other.