Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | Storytelling for a brighter tomorrow

April 4, 2016


Whenever it comes to an ailment like cancer or even genetic disorders, no matter how rare, the disease usually reaches beyond the afflicted person and extends out to those who love them, inevitably affecting a circle of people. Due to our relationships and our condition of being human, this is practically a given. I’ve heard this line before: “Cancer touches us all.” Regardless of what shape or form it takes, illness touches us all.

I recently stumbled across this six-minute video from The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation that depicts four different perspectives and identities, three of them tightly wound together. The clip opens with a montage of activities we’d deem regular doings, but for certain individuals — for these individuals — they’re nothing short of extraordinary. Running around a track, jumping rope in a gym, riding a bike.

Then, we hear the first words: “When I run, my lungs feel like they’re opening up inside and it makes it easier to breathe. I feel free.”

The stories contained within this video are undeniably powerful because of the narrators who tell them. A young woman who became aware of her status when she was in the third grade . A mother of two children who were born with the disease. A sister and a brother, both surviving despite the disease.

I was touched by the daily struggles of these strong survivors and experienced emotions in strong waves, mostly alternating between hope and sadness. Hope because of the opportunities provided and sadness because of the continuing struggle. Hope because so much more needs to happen — more research, and further development for a cure — and sadness because there’s still a very long way to go. Hope because lives have been prolonged by current drug treatments, but sadness due to the uncertainty of tomorrow.

This story — and the stories contained within — work wonderfully as a plea for more funding for the cause, for enabling CFF to continue to do the life-changing, crucial work that they do. I’m grateful for all CFF has done for those who suffer, and I’m eternally grateful for each one of my tomorrows.


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