Cancer is likely to have affected you at some stage in your life. Whether it was your own diagnosis or that of a family member, it’s become an unfortunate fact of life. WarOnCancer provides an online space for people dealing with cancer to share their stories.

What’s the idea behind WarOnCancer?

Swedish-Brazilian actor Fabian Bolin had just moved to America after landing two big roles. He began to feel exhausted but put this tiredness down to his hectic lifestyle. After near passing out on his way to Stansted he decided it was time to visit a doctor. This visit led to a diagnosis of Leukemia, a form of blood cancer. As is typical these days, Fabian turned to the internet for answers, answers he struggled to find.

Feeling frustrated, Fabian vented in a  Facebook post, a post shared over 27,000 times.

Supported by his friend Sebastian Hermelin, Fabian began work on the concept behind WarOnCancer.

What is WarOnCancer?

WarOnCancer started out with bracelets. The aim was simply to raise money to fund cancer research. Fabian and Sebastian quickly realised cancer patients needed both information and an outlet. In early 2016, discussions began about creating an online storytelling space.

Within this space, cancer patients vent, heal and discuss their own personal journeys. Family members can also share their real life journey. Intricate detail on specific journey comes to the fore, pushing overwhelming medical jargon to the side. WarOnCancer itself lets users find stories based on a range of queries they can relate to. You can discover stories based on gender, relation to the patient and cancer type, to name but a few.

How does WarOnCancer help?

Fabian Bolin speaking at Dublin Tech SummitEach story is personal and individual. Titles range from “Fuck Cancer” to “My Fight” and provide insight from a human point of view. You can still read Fabian’s own story, which is a great example of the detail provided by firsthand experience.

Cancer doesn’t have to be the end of a life. It can be the start of a new one – Fabian Bolin

For patients and their families early in the journey WarOnCancer is a great learning resource. For those telling the stories, sharing experiences acts as a form of therapy.

Currently, there are two Irish WarOnCancer stories. As a nation, we are slow to speak out and express ourselves when we have problems. Hopefully, as WarOnCancer grows, more Irish people share their stories. In doing so, they will be helping others and themselves.

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