Alongside her role as a Media Volunteer, Alex volunteers with the Health Awareness Roadshow in London, is an office volunteer and gave feedback on our blog post, A Journey Through Cancer. In 2016, she won Ambassador of the Year at the Flame of Hope awards. We found out why Alex is so passionate about getting involved.
Tell us how you became a media volunteer
I volunteer on the Health Awareness Roadshow and love interacting with the public and getting the messages out to people in local communities. Karen, from the Media Volunteer Liaison team, saw me speak about my cancer experience and my volunteering and felt I'd make a good media volunteer. She said my story could be shared on social media or in the national press, and that she'd support me through anything I decided I'd like to take part in.
Why do you think sharing your story is important?
We are real; we have lived, breathed, and experienced cancer. We represent the many faces of cancer and that's important for the public to see. Speakign personally, I have a passion for life and living after cancer, even more than I did before my diagnosis. I want to shout from the roof tops about the amazing work that Cancer Research UK does and I want others to hear!
Give us an idea of the things you've done as a media volunteer
The first request was being filmed for an ITN story on breast cancer. It took up a whole Saturday with a film crew at my house and a member of the team from Cancer Research UK to support me. In the end the story didn't even run, such is the nature of breaking news!
I've shared my story in so many ways since then, speaking at away days, appearing in Cancer Research UK's Annual Review, and in Woman's Own Magazine. My favourite 'job' has to be presenting an award with Sir Harpal Kumar, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK. I was so nervous (400 pairs of eyes on me) but I was made to feel so at ease, once I was actually up on stage I really enjoyed the event. Seeing the response from the award winner was just so amazing, I loved it!
What's the most challenging thing you've been involved in?
For world cancer day last year, I was asked to take part in a daring photo shoot for the launch. They wanted a patient to be photographed naked apart from their unity bands. I was told it would be tastefully shot and checked with my family first that they would be comfortable with the concept. The pictures were beautiful and everyone was really pleased with the outcome.