Lorelei Colbert was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer at 28 and used her experience to launch the “Chemo to Kindness” challenge that inspired others around the world to do acts of good.
After receiving a triple-negative breast cancer diagnosis, CURE® ambassador Lorelei Colbert knew that she had to follow her passions and make an impact on the world. So, on the day of her first chemotherapy treatment, she launched the “Chemo to Kindness” challenge, through which she would spread awareness about early-onset breast cancer while urging people to perform acts of kindness in their communities.
“I asked anyone to join in and share the good during this hard time … and let me know about it by posting it on social media, with the intent that when you shine your light, and you say you’re doing something good, you might inspire someone else in another location to do something good,” Colbert said.
Colbert was undergoing 16 weeks of chemotherapy at the time, so she set the goal of receiving at least 1,600 (about 100 per week) acts of kindness throughout the campaign. She surpassed the goal, receiving over 1,700 submissions, and now the cancer survivor looks back and sees “Chemo to Kindness” as one of the “most special things” she has ever been a part of.
Once I found out (that) I was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, I thought about how I wanted to take on this journey. And to be frank, if the cancer was stronger than I was, I wanted to make sure that I was following my passions. My passions, for the longest time, have been to make an impact and seize the day.
So, when I was thinking about going through this challenge, again, I mentioned how 16 always felt so right, I thought, “Oh, maybe I (should) do a kindness challenge with the community. I'll share my journey, (and) it will help raise awareness for other young women, because as I had mentioned, being 28 going through this, I kept being told I was young. How can we bring awareness to the subject? In the name of good, let's do acts of kindness.”
The day I went in to start my chemotherapy treatment, I launched the “Chemo to Kindness” challenge, and I asked anyone to join in, share the good during this hard time with me, and let me know about it by posting it on social media, with the intent that when you shine your light, and you say you're doing something good, you might inspire someone else in another location to do something good. And then hopefully, they would tell me about it. But if they didn't, it was OK.
The “Chemo to Kindness” challenge and the acts coming in were so uplifting during a challenging time. I would be sitting in the chemo chair and just getting flooded with these amazing acts coming in from different countries. During a time of (COVID-19), during a hard year, people found joy of lifting others up and letting me know. I was very proud of that challenge.
I like to tell other survivors and patients going through this that they, too, can do a challenge. But I recommend maybe not putting a quantitative goal, because I noticed (that) sometimes (I was) stressing out if we were going to hit the 100 acts a week for 16 weeks. We did. We surpassed the goal — we had more than 1,700 acts of kindness when all was said and done. But it was truly one of the most special things I've ever been a part of.
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