Breast Cancer Network Vietnam (BCNV) together with FWD and Vietcombank have launched a social media campaign that started on Jul. 21 and continues until Aug. 20, 2020.

With this campaign, BCNV hopes to raise awareness about cancer amongst young people, encourage early detection and a healthy lifestyle to prevent the spread of cancer.

The money raised through this campaign will go towards establishing two more wig libraries in oncology hospitals in Vietnam, which will take the total to seven.

Cancer can happen to anyone, young or old, so the best prevention is early detection.

The Wig Library is a vital part of the work done by BCNV and this is the area that this campaign will be focusing its fundraising efforts on.

The wig libraries provide an invaluable service to the community by empowering women, men and children to feel confident as they fight bravely through these tough times.

For this campaign, BCNV and its sponsors (Vietcombank, FWD) decided to use the ‘umbrella’ as the symbol for protection, support, security, help and preservation, which comes in many forms during a patient’s fight against cancer.

These ‘umbrellas’ range from friends and family to online communities and physical community groups.

BCNV has chosen three amazingly strong young women under 30 years old who battled cancer and are all now on remission. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Như các bạn cũng đã biết, vấn đề về sức khỏe luôn là một đề tài được nhiều người quan tâm. Tuy nhiên, để hiểu rõ hơn về sức khỏe, về các căn bệnh, đặc biệt là ung thư thì khá ít trang thông tin chính thống để chúng ta tìm hiểu. Hiểu được vấn đề đó nên BCNV quyết định xây dựng một trang thông tin điện tử về kiến thức sức khỏe cho mọi người. Vậy nên hãy cùng BCNV thực hiện điều đó nhé! BCNV rất cần bạn đồng hành! Link donate in bio! #breastcancernetworkvietnam #breastcancer #mangluoiungthuvuvietnam #ungthuvu #bcnv #ungho #quyengop #congthongtinkienthuc #donate

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Lê Hồ Ngọc Diễm

One of our ambassadors for this campaign is 25-year-old breast cancer survivor Lê Hồ Ngọc Diễm, an online English teacher.

Diễm is an inspirational young woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago at the very young age of 22, just as she was completing her studies.

She was diagnosed when she went to her doctor to get a medical certificate for life Insurance. Eventually, due to  her diagnosis, she was unable to get that life insurance so was forced to take out a loan to pay for her treatment, which she is currently paying off. 

Once Diễm was diagnosed, she decided to keep it to herself, not telling her family and friends for fear of being a burden or being pitied

She felt that doing it on her own would make her stronger and more resilient. She felt that if she managed to get through this struggle she would be able to handle anything that life in the future threw at her.

She concentrated on getting healthy, staying fit by climbing mountains while excelling in English not only made her strong and ‘ordinary’ but extraordinary, because she was doing all this while undergoing cancer treatment.

Diễm is a super strong cancer survivor, but during this solitary journey, she realised that she was ultimately human and could not go through this without support, so she reached out online to BCNV and other cancer support groups to connect with other people having similar experiences.

It was this online community which became her ‘umbrella’.

Diễm is currently cancer-free and feels that she has been given a second chance at life with a healthier more positive outlook. She has also set up her own FB group called BU&C Family (Bạn, Ung thư & Chúng ta – You, Cancer & Us).

Trần Bảo Ngọc

28 year old Trần Bảo Ngọc is a courageous young lymphoma survivor.

Ngoc’s story starts just after she turned 25 when she discovered swollen lymph nodes. Being a pharmacist, she was aware of the implications of this find and took herself to the doctor immediately.

Unfortunately an exact diagnosis was not forthcoming so Ngoc spent the  next two years visiting various doctors and undergoing many, often painful, tests.

Eventually she was diagnosed with lymphoma and she felt relieved to finally have an end to the tests and the unknown.

Ngoc works in the medical industry so her level of awareness was high which meant she wasn’t shocked by the news. 

During chemotherapy, she suffered a lot, but she commends her family for being her ‘umbrella’ to get her through this difficult stage in life.

Her mother was there by her side the whole way and Ngoc realised that she needed to keep fighting for her parents.

I know my life doesn’t belong to only me, but also to my parents

Ngoc feels almost grateful for her cancer diagnosis because it has made her into a much kinder and happier person who now lives a healthy life both mentally and physically.

She is no longer a depressed workaholic who neglects her family, friends and health and is now a happy, positive person who looks after herself and has a fulfilling work-life balance.

“Now I’m concerned about my health, maintaining a healthy diet and not working too much and taking the time to care for myself, family and friends.

“Although I love my parents deeply, I’m more determined to carry out my own wishes, so that every day I’m alive, I’ll bring value to the community,” she says.

During this journey, Ngoc has learnt a lot and her message to young people is to slow down, take time for yourself both mentally and physically (cut out junk food, door more exercise) and always stay positive because if cancer is detected early, it doesn’t need to be a death sentence. 

Triệu Thị Thanh Trúc

Triệu Thị Thanh Trúc was 28 and living in Vietnam after completing her Master of Pharmacy in the UK when she was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer.

Due to her studies in pharmacy and her basic knowledge of health, she was very calm when she received her test results. 

One month after her diagnosis, she underwent a left breast mastectomy and removed all axillary lymph nodes.

When Truc lost her hair due to chemotherapy, she decided to shave her head instead of wearing a wig: “My dad told me to wear a wig but I didn’t want to. When I go to work, sometimes I’ll use a headscarf.

“Instead of using a permanent wig, I chose to wrap a headscarf around my head because I can change it every day to be fashionable!” she says.

Truc had had access to Western ideas early on, especially medical knowledge during her time studying in the UK: “Here, they encourage cancer patients to share their situation with their loved ones and friends, to ease the burden on their own shoulders and to be conscious of cancer prevention together.”

This allowed her to face cancer with confidence and calmness, instead of letting her parents worry. Truc chose to be the rock for her family: “My family can be sad, but I myself will become their source of optimism and positivity,” she says.

When teaching at an English centre, Truc didn’t hesitate to share things about breast cancer with her colleagues and students.

The students, aged five to 17, sometimes asked innocently:

“Why do you have cancer but you haven’t died yet?”

Truc would laugh because she understood that there are still many people who don’t know that breast cancer highly treatable if detected early: “I have never thought about death, nor have I ever feared death.” she says.

Truc believes that by sharing her story, she has become ‘the umbrella’ and hopes to help people protect themselves better.

Truc now has a zest for life and cherishes each day. She believes that it’s her duty to take care of herself and her health so that her friends and family can also find comfort in that. 

After getting sick, she was also startled to realise that cancer did not seem to exclude anyone: “Before that, I thought that under the age of 30, the chance of getting cancer was very low, so I was always oblivious.

“Therefore, I urge young people not to be like me, but should actively take regular health checks, with breast cancer if there are abnormal findings you can check yourself at home in many ways,” she says.

How can you be a part of this campaign:

  • Post photo/ drawing or any form of artistic expression featuring an umbrella and write a message to the young about early cancer prevention. Your post must be set to ‘public’ and include 4 hashtags: #SomBaoVe #TuTinSong #VCBFWD #BCNV. For each post, you contribute VND9,900 to build wig libraries.
  • Online community support is a big part of the fight against cancer, so messages of support are always welcome.

For more information about this campaign and others in the future, visit BCNV at https://bit.ly/3eQhN78 where the page will be updated daily throughout the campaign.

Want to know more?

Cancer Statistics

According to GLOBOCAN statistics in 2018, the estimated cancer incidence rate, aged 15-29 Vietnam is ranked third in Southeast Asia, while the estimated cancer mortality rate among the same age group is the highest in the region.

Although there aren’t many statistics on the increased number of young cancer patients in Vietnam, actual treatment practice shows that all types of cancers can be diagnosed in young people.

The Wig Library Project

BCNV Wig library is a project of making wigs from real hair contributed by the community and lending them for free to poor cancer patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy.

From 2015 to present, there have been more than 3,000 hair donors, resulting in nearly 500 real-hair wigs.

Five Wig Libraries are operating at hospitals and oncology departments all over Vietnam, at Hanoi Oncology Hospital, Da Nang Oncology Hospital, Nghe An Oncology Hospital, National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, and Breast Cancer Department of Cho Ray Hospital.

Find out more about the project at https://bit.ly/2ZMKe1v

Breast Cancer Network Vietnam (BCNV):

BCNV is a non-profit organisation founded in 2013 by Ms. Thuong Sobey (1982 – 2015), a stage 4 breast cancer patient.

In 2018 BCNV became a social enterprise and a member of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

BCNV has pioneered and focused on implementing breast cancer activities in Vietnam by improving quality of life for those directly and indirectly impacted by breast cancer, in addition to raising awareness about breast cancer to increase the rate of screening and early cancer detection.

Our vision: “A future where we win all in the battle against breast cancer”.

For further information, contact:

Rebecca Morgan – Fundraiser

Breast Cancer Network Vietnam (BCNV)

1F – 06 Lê Văn Miến St., Thảo Điền, D2, HCMC

Tel: 089 808 3313

Mobile: 070 316 6507

Email: morgan.bec@hotmail.com

Website: https://bcnv.org.vn/