Having been diagnosed with breast cancer and come through treatment, Rose Sajuan knows the challenges other women facing cancer are up against. It’s that firsthand experience that inspires her commitment to help others: “I always say, ‘You can’t talk the talk unless you have walked the walk,’ and my own journey with breast cancer, my challenges and my survival from treatment inspire me to be there for other women.” In public forums and in personal interactions, Rose is committed to sharing her story and connecting with patients to offer hope and compassion.
In what ways have you worked on behalf of those touched by cancer?
I help with the Cancer Fighters® Care Net at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), speaking with women who are contemplating coming to CTCA® about the hospital and sharing my own journey. I have also been a caregiver for many women who have traveled alone to treatment. In addition, I have spoken at many breast cancer events, and this past July I represented CTCA at the national convention for La Raza, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. It was an awesome experience, and we reached out to 1,800 people.
What inspires you in your commitment to make a difference?
What inspires me is being able to share my experience and letting others know that cancer is not a death sentence—that as long as you have hope, you have life. I want others to have the chance for continued life and health, as I did. Seeing a patient get well and be inspired to do what I am doing now is a dream come true. On a personal level, I am inspired by my gratitude for being able to see my grandchildren born and being able to attend the many important occasions in their lives—and the many more to come.
What are your hopes and goals as you continue your efforts?
My hopes and goals are to be able to reach out to those who have no hope, through speaking engagements, cancer events and anywhere I am asked to help. I want people to know that I am living proof that miracles do happen—you just have to believe.
What message would you like to deliver to others facing a cancer diagnosis?
I would tell those facing cancer to not give up hope! I always asked my mom what my purpose was here on earth, and she would tell me, “Do not worry; God will let you know.” Well, my mother was right because had I not had breast cancer, I would not be helping all these wonderful people whom I have come in contact with. I encourage everyone I meet to stay positive and believe!