Each month, the Cancer Policy Insitute will be profiling advocates who have been engaged in advocacy in their home state, their community, with elected officials, and more. Read on to learn more about our featured advocate for the month of July and her passion for helping all those impacted by cancer and their families. If you are interested in learning more about policy, advocacy, and ways to get involved, sign up to be a part of the Grassroots Network!
Marcia Donziger, Denver, Colorado
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
First and foremost, I am a mom to twin 12-year old boys. They are the joys of my life. I feel so lucky to be a parent. We live in Denver, Colorado, and I am originally a Southern California girl where I grew up in Anaheim. Travel is one of my favorite hobbies along with listening to music and going to concerts. I have traveled from Israel to India to Hong Kong to Brazil. My most recent trip was to Costa Rica with my boys in July. If you like beaches, rainforests, volcanos, wild animals, nice people and great food, Costa Rica is a beautiful destination.
I have a dream job working on my passion for helping all people with cancer and their families. As the Vice President for Digital Strategy and Business Development for CSC, I get to experience purpose in my everyday life through work. As a stage 3 ovarian cancer survivor, I feel grateful for the life I get to lead.
How did you get connected with the Cancer Support Community?
In 2007, I started a non-profit organization called MyLifeLine.org to transform the cancer experience through connection and community. Years ago, we partnered with CSC to extend our reach and serve more patients. In January 2018, we officially merged our organizations together to grow and expand our digital services to all patients, caregivers and the people who love them.
Did you have experience with advocacy in any capacity before joining CSC? (e.g. legislator meetings, hosting educational events, writing letters or calling, writing pieces for media outlets, posting on your personal Facebook, sharing information with your community, etc.)
Yes, in Colorado, CSC and MyLifeLine initiated the creation of Cancer Caregivers Day on July 13, 2018. The Governor of Colorado signed a proclamation to start a movement to raise awareness for caregivers and the special role they play in healing and recovery. We can’t do it alone.
In what ways have you been involved with advocacy with CSC?
I joined the Grassroots Advocacy Network at CSC to become an advocate for solutions needed in our country to ensure that healthcare laws work for patients and families.
Is there one issue you are particularly passionate about?
I am passionate about treating the whole person during a cancer journey. As a survivor myself since the age of 27, I understand firsthand that treating cancer goes beyond the medical treatment. The social and emotional toll of the cancer experience cannot be understated. It takes a community to pull someone through the difficult times when you feel like you can’t endure the challenges anymore.
What is one tip or piece of advice you’d like to share with others who are interested in becoming an advocate?
Get involved now! Join me in the CSC Grassroots Network to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Together, we will make our voices heard and change the future of cancer care.
Tell us something fun about yourself—any hobbies, interests, or fun facts?
I will do almost anything for cancer causes. For me, being a cancer survivor means to face your greatest fears, learn from them and overcome them. To raise funds for organizations important to me, I have rappelled down a 30-story building, ridden my bike 200 miles from Philadelphia to Washington DC in 3 days, and leaned far off of a 2,000 foot cliff to push past fears and limits. I draw the line at jumping out of a plane though – that’s too scary!