Teodora's story

October 27, 2023

Teodora's story

You must advocate for yourself. I want others to learn self-advocacy, and the first step is raising awareness about the issue.

I’m Teodora, and I’m from Romania. My story is born from grief and longing for the life I was just beginning to build with someone when life had other plans. I lost my boyfriend, George, to gastric cancer on January 1st, 2023.

George always aimed to make a difference and leave the world a better place. At just 23 years old, he founded his own NGO (Streets for People), dedicated to improving Bucharest, Romania’s capital city. His passion continues to inspire me and the team at his NGO as we continue working toward fulfilling his dreams.

However, witnessing the challenges faced by cancer patients and the severe underfunding of gastric cancer treatments compelled me to get involved in this cause too.

My way of contributing was to share my story. I accepted Digestive Cancers Europe’s invitation to speak at their 2023 Masterclass, held on July 1st, exactly six months after George’s passing. In my speech, I discussed the difficulties of dealing with a Stage 4 diagnosis and the fight for unconventional treatment options. When treatment options were scarce in Romania, George and I decided to relocate to California to give him access to a clinical trial.

Following my emotionally charged speech, I felt a strong desire to do more. I decided to leverage my background in Advertising and Brand Strategy to help develop the Gastric Cancer Awareness Month Campaign. The DiCE team has consistently been incredibly kind and supportive, and together, we created this campaign with the hope that more people would learn about gastric cancer, its prevention, and the signs and symptoms to watch for.

I believe in this social media campaign for one crucial reason—the same message I hear when I join caregiver groups: YOU MUST ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF. I want others to learn self-advocacy, and the first step is raising awareness about the issue.

Gastric Cancer Awareness Month is not a time for celebration; it’s an opportunity to open our eyes to the reality of this disease. Our objective is to reach as many people as possible, and we can only achieve this with your support and by sharing our message.

We want to hear your story

We hope that this section of our website will provide the platform and inspiration for patients/survivors to tell their own story. If you would like to contribute to this page please contact us.

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