The “Voices of Survivors Foundation”, a federally registered 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, was started by Lynn Lane, a photographer/documentary filmmaker and a ‘survivor’ himself. Lynn was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2008 and underwent a Robotic Radical Prostatectomy in May of that year at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. From the moment of his diagnosis, he realized that life would never be the same. He scoured the internet in search of information and support but found very little out there except for a few amazing groups and support sites, but nothing like what he was looking for: the visual image…the power of the spoken word.
After his surgery he turned his efforts towards his project: “Voices of Survivors” as he saw a real need to put a human face and voice to this word that means so much to so many people. Utilizing his background as a documentary filmmaker, he saw this as a new challenge for his work as well as himself. The word ‘survivor’ oft times has very different meanings for each individual and sometimes can be challenging for them to see themselves as one. This project and format seemed to lend itself to a new form of support for each individual who is going through this battle as well as for their friends and family. It gives us an opportunity see ourselves as a ‘survivor’ in our terms and by our own definition of the word.
What we do:
The “Voices of Survivors Foundation” is devoted to exploring what ‘Survivorship’ means to the individual ‘Survivor’, whether they are recently diagnosed, in-treatment or post-treatment, in a variety of documentary formats. Each ‘Survivor’ helps define what this means to not only themselves, but also gives insight to others who are on this journey as well, either as a ‘Survivor’ or a ‘Co-Survivor’.
The face of cancer is one that has been portrayed as that of only older people or children for so long, but that face is not reflective of whom cancer truly affects. It affects us all! We become a ‘Survivor’ when we first hear those three words: “You have cancer.”
At that moment, your ‘Survivorship’ begins and you are not alone. Each and every ‘voice’ shared can mean so much to so many and touch even more. Stand up, be heard!
You are a ‘Survivor’!
2010 in Brief:
2010 was a great year for the Voices of Survivors Foundation. We not only put up our 100th ‘Survivor’ video but we topped out over 400 ‘Voices’ shared overall from all over the world. We expanded our outreach dramatically both on our website and in the real world. We launched new programs including the ‘Conversations’ portion of the website were we have a side by side video ‘Conversation’ with executive director: Lynn Lane. We were featured during the NOEP presentation at the National Oncology Nurses Summit as one of the top resources for oncology nurses to understand exactly what cancer patients go through during and post treatment.
In 2010, we launched local chapters across the country to give people an opportunity to get together in a healthy and positive way with other ‘Survivors’. We reached out on many road trips to various hospitals and cancer centers to provide literature on our organization and ‘Survivorship’ to help others not feel so alone. We attended various summits and seminars including the “Liver Tumor Symposium” in Fort Worth, Texas where we were speakers and collected many ‘voices’ on camera to share on our website. We became members of the Breast Health Collaborative of Texas where we work with many top nonprofit organizations in Texas to bring about more awareness for both men and women about breast cancer. One of our exciting fundraising efforts was the 2nd annual “Voices at the Velodrome” bicycle track racing series held in Katy, Texas at the Alkek Velodrome. This is only some of what we have done this year. 2011 promises to be even more amazing!
Founder, Executive Director
Voices of Survivors Foundation