blogpost407_1In Latin America, the Maximize Life Campaign has become something like a tradition – a time when each patient organization creates an event or activity of their choice and powers it up for a campaign that takes on a life of its own!

13 patient groups from 11 Latin American countries joined this year’s movement, bringing together patients and caregivers with the purpose of telling the community that cancer is an issue, that ignoring it is not going to make it go away, and that the best approach is to learn about it in order to know what to do about it. From governments to the general public, everybody can get involved in figuring out how to treat cancer patients as members of society and not as a burden.

The 13 Maximize Life Campaign events happening throughout Latin America are varied, and they go from meetings that aim to raise awareness in patients and their family members, such as those taking place in Argentina, Nicaragua and Honduras, to larger scale, community involving events, like those happening in Peru and Ecuador. Patients in Chile, Peru and Mexico have perfected a stage play for children with the story of Maximo and the Big C, Ecuador will organize their customary walk through the city with all types of cancer patients and, in Colombia, children going through treatment will be treated to an afternoon of fun and games, and the message that they are not alone.

Other events include promoting the campaign in non-central cities where access to information and support is rare (Guatemala), Maximo storytelling (Costa Rica), visits to the zoo (Dominican Republic), and others.

But all these events have something in common: plenty of helpful information – both scientific and practical, volunteers giving their time and efforts in order to make the activities and success, and the message that cancer can be fought, with everyone pulling in the same direction.