“Be a Friend to Your Mother” Cancer Education Program at International High School for Health Sciences

On October 22, SHAREing and CAREing conducted cancer education classes at International High School for Health Sciences in Elmhurst, Queens. 132 students and staff attended this program.

IHSHS helps new, non-English speaking immigrant students acquire English language skills and develop the determination, compassion and discipline for successful college study in healthcare.

Our program includes personal stories of survivorship, the importance of taking charge of one’s personal health history to minimize risks, how to perform breast self-exams and testicular self-exams. We also provided basic information about cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. Students were encouraged to identify health promoting behaviors and integrate them into their lives. We also helped students identify and address psychosocial barriers to initiating conversations with family members about obtaining healthcare and vital cancer screenings.

Many IHSHS students are likely to embark on careers as healthcare providers. This cancer education program was a chance to lay groundwork for the future as well as offer lessons immediately useful in the present. SHAREing & CAREing representatives appreciated the opportunity to share our perspectives and knowledge with interested listeners, and to know that by sharing our distinctive stories we are making a difference.

We received many personal thank you notes from the students. Here are a few of our favorite quotes:

“Thank you for sharing your experience through your year of this hard disease. I think you are strong and brave. Thank you for telling us your story and overcoming this challenge.”

“I love your information because it is important for me and others in my life.”

“Thank you for sharing your story and the information. I hope you do not get sick again.”

“I hate cancer.”

“Thank you for teaching us about cancer and making us aware of it and how to keep ourselves safer. Thank you for telling us your story.”

“I hope you have a beautiful life.”

“Thank you for teaching us how to support someone with cancer.”

“Thank you for teaching us we should value our lives if we are not sick.”

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