Mailet Lopez is a dear friend and colleague of mine at Squeaky Wheel Media. She is also an example of how someone can channel an intense and challenging experience into something creative and positive that can help other people.
A few years ago she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.
In relating her experience, she says that although she had the support of her doctor, family, and friends, it would have really helped her if she could have talked to more individuals who were going through or had gone through a similar experience. Every aspect of her treatment she had to research endlessly. It was difficult and time-consuming to get the information, but she had to as her very life depended on it.
“I didn’t know anyone who had been through it and had no one that I could really talk to about treatment, no one to tell me what it was really like, no one to say what would hurt or what it would be like to lose my hair,” Mailet says.
Mailet won her personal fight against cancer, but the memory of feeling confused and isolated stayed with her and she was determined to make things easier for anyone going through what she had to go through. As a co-founder of Squeaky Wheel Media, she leveraged her expertise and contacts to create IHadCancer.com.
IHadCancer is a peer-to-peer social network that focuses on bringing together all types of people who have been touched by cancer, whether they are fighters, survivors, or friends & family of someone diagnosed. Users can share their experiences, openly communicate with one another and change the prevailing feeling of isolation that occurs when you or someone you care about is diagnosed.
“No matter how small someone’s experience is with cancer, you should go on this site and share it,” Mailet says. “It has the potential to help someone else in those exact shoes right now, even it’s telling someone about a place where your wife found a great wig.”
The site just launched in a beta stage, and already has members in almost every U.S. state. You can learn more about it in the video below and at IHadCancer.com.