Working as a journalist, and Director of Content for StoryCatchers Media, I have encountered hundreds of people with remarkable stories. But, it’s the stories of survival, especially beating cancer, which remind me of the strength of the human spirit and how we can conquer overwhelming obstacles when we put our mind to it.
Over this past year, it has been wonderful to meet so many cancer survivors and hear how they have fought this terrible disease and persevered. It is inspiring to witness their strength and passion for life and it’s something that continues to keep me motivated. I feel honored to be able to produce these incredible stories of triumph.
However, storytelling is not just a job, but also a passion of mine. It’s not always easy to get someone to tell you their story or to capture years of someone’s life in just two minutes, but this is a challenge that I enjoy, especially if I can help others in the process.
One of the main differences between my storytelling with StoryCatchers Media and other journalists is that I work to not only tell a person’s story, but I also want to capture their emotions and personality to make the story memorable. In the video production world, we call this capturing a moment. You never know when there will be a ‘moment’, but when it happens it is truly amazing.
One of my favorite moments is when I met Linda Wortman. She’s a beautiful 63-year-old woman, who has an infectious laugh and the strength of an ox. She not only survived lung cancer, but also now lives without the upper lobe of her left lung. You would think after an ordeal like this, Linda would shy away from doing anything that would put stress on her lungs, but I found she’s completely the reverse.
Instead of taking it easy, Linda went running. It’s something that she had never done, even when she had two lungs. But she did it, without running shoes.
She tells me she ran her first 5K in her ballet flats. And what’s even more surprising is that she won the race in her age group. Listening to Linda tell her story was inspiring, but actually watching her run at a park one day made me realize how special this moment really was. Right away, I noticed it was a struggle for Linda to breathe while running.
She made a loud wheezing sound as soon as she started, and, as she continued to make her way around the park, it got worse. I told Linda she could stop and take a rest, but instead she turned around and smiled at me and said, “this is fun, I can keep going if you need more video.”
It was that moment where we captured Linda’s true passion for living. Smiling, and at the same time gasping for air, she showed true courage and strength to do something that no one thought possible for someone with just one and a half lungs.
It was a powerful moment that continues to inspire me to go after my passions. It’s meeting people like Linda that can remind all of us to not be intimidated or fear life, but instead embrace it and really appreciate what you have.
The next time you need a little motivation in life, I encourage you to check out one of the many stories of cancer survivors. Whether it’s having a positive attitude or going after passions in life that seem impossible, you can truly learn a lot from someone who has overcome cancer.