Open Mic Showcase Debut Puts Cancer Survivors, Patients in the Spotlight


From music to poetry and dynamic storytelling, the first installment of CURE®’s Open Mic Showcase highlights the talents of patients and survivors of cancer.

For patients and survivors of cancer, creative expression can be a beneficial way to release pent-up emotions, and to connect to others who may be going through similar situations — helping them know that they are not alone.

For CURE®’s first-ever Open Mic Showcase, we asked our audience of patients, survivors and caregivers of those with cancer to share short videos of themselves performing an original act that relates to their cancer, be it music, reading something they wrote, explaining artwork, stand-up comedy or more.

READ MORE: Art as Cancer Therapy

In our first of three installments of the Open Mic Showcase, you’ll hear from five performers and cancer survivors.

(0:59) Our first performance is from Frank J. Peter, a man with Lynch syndrome — which is a genetic condition that makes individuals more susceptible to certain cancers — and survivor of multiple cancer types. A few years back, Frank wrote a song on the piano for his loved ones to remember him by. He originally called it “I Was Here,” but now, years later, he’s dusting it off and calling it “I’m Still Here.”

(3:54) In the second performance, author and breast cancer survivor Diane M. Simard read an excerpt from her book, “The Unlikely Gift of Breast Cancer,” where she chronicles her experiences with the disease after being diagnosed in February 2015 at the age of 50.

(6:04) Next, male breast cancer survivor and CURE® Contributor Khevin Barnes shared a short clip from his video series, “Survive and Thrive Live,” which focuses on his thoughts about cancer. In the video, he explains how cancer forces him to “cancel all negative conditioned emotional responses.”

(7:54) After Barnes’ video is a reading from Dr. Wendy S. Harpham, a physician, author, advocate and 32-year survivor of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a blood cancer that forms in the lymphatic system. Harpham discussed how she has the gift of hope, and then recited a poem of hers.

(11:14) The final performance in this installment is from a professional storyteller and stage 4 oral cancer survivor, Eva Grayzel. Through her dynamic presentation, she tells a story that she relates to the importance of sharing one’s cancer experience with others.

This is the first of three installments of CURE®’s Open Mic Showcase.

For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.

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