A discussion on the topic “How to overcome the stigma of the disease”

Ekaterina Bozhikova, a cancer survivor, talked in front of local people. This is what she wrote afterwards:

2 weeks ago I gave a talk in Gotse Delchev, Bulgaria on the topic “How to overcome the social stigma of disease” hosted by the local organization “Hronika against Cancer”, which helps the community in my home town get educated on treatment and prevention. I’m conflicted and inspired at the same time, as I’m still sorting through my thoughts and what to do next to keep the spark of change going in my home town. The talk was challenging and very eye opening for me. I felt like I dug a 1000 shallow holes in many topics (such as treatment, diet, emotional health, changing the language and attitude around degenerative diseases.) yet I felt compelled to talk about all of them. I learned sadly that especially in small towns people who get diagnosed, hide it and silently disappear from the scene of social life. There are still many cases, when a diagnose comes too late as well, because people are afraid to read and learn about the subject (‘if I don’t get diagnosed, I don’t have a disease’ sort of thinking) There were several survivors in the audience and it’s heart breaking to hear them say they feel punished by fate for their diagnose and and are viewed as broken, sinners, victims by others. For me it’s clear that Bulgaria needs more positive stories to overcome these closed off and prejudiced beliefs. That’s why I’ve never been afraid to be the face for this message and I hope more survivors will do the same. Maybe this talk was a baby step. And it all usually begins with those. I’m grateful to the power ladies from “Hronika against Cancer” for the invitation and all the good they do to help those, who’ve embarked this difficult journey. And as a response to all the fears, which reign over people’s minds and make everyone take the position of a choiceless victim, I wish to lovingly offer this quote by Josh Shipp as a food for thought: “You either get bitter or you get better. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and you allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate. It belongs to YOU” #breastcancerawarenessmonth

«Evening of good angels»

Every year in November “Hronika Against Cancer” organizes a charity evening in support of women with cancer. Many people attend including representatives of local businesses, of government and municipal institutions, community centers, schools and kindergartens, people sympathetic to the cause of fighting cancer and many others. Within the charity event an auction is being organized with donated works of art and culinary products. Boxes are placed in the hall for gathering donations. This is one of the main ways in which “Hronika Against Cancer” raises funds in order to be able to support women with cancer and carry out preventive initiatives and screenings.

“Herbs for cure and aroma”

The initiative is being implemented jointly with the women of the Club of the pensioner in the town of Gotse Delchev. All who attend the Summer Festival “Eniovden mysteries” in the village of Delchovo have the opportunity to participate in the charity bazaar “Herbs for cure and aroma” of the NGO. Rosemary, basil, oregano, savory, mint, lavender, horseradish and much more herbs and spices attract guests of the festival. Those who decide to make a donation to help women in the region struggling with cancer receive herbs of their choice from our aromatic, healthy and beautiful bazaar.