Having been touched by bone and ovarian cancer, brother and sister Nikky and Carly Gibbons have launched digital awareness projects to help others in similar situations.
Nikky was diagnosed with bone cancer for the second time aged 31, and has since undergone amputation. His blog Bad to the Bone is a candid account of his experiences. Nikky's sister Carly (and best friend Charlotte) launched GRL PWR, an online community for women affected by ovarian cancer, when Charlotte was diagnosed at the age of 26. Here they share their motivation for starting new online communities.
After being diagnosed with bone cancer for the second time at the age of just 31 I was faced with a lot of unanswered questions and the prospect of spending the rest of my life as an amputee. I found myself reaching out to the Bone Cancer Research Trust for support. They put me in contact with two amazing people who had been through similar ordeals. Being able to talk to someone who understands your fears and worries was a massive help.
So as a direct result I decided to write about my own battle with cancer. Forcing myself to be totally open (and at times brutally honest) I started my blog Bad To The Bone, in the hope that it could offer support to someone somewhere fighting their own battle with cancer."
For me, personally, the hardest part of seeing someone close to you fight cancer is the feeling of utter helplessness. Watching someone you loves world come crashing down around them, watching them in pain - trying to fight a battle they never chose with all the strength they have. And there's absolutely nothing you can do; all you want is to take it away from them and make it all better.
I can remember after the second time Nik got diagnosed, I honestly wished it was me instead. And truly meant it. It wasn't fair that he would have to go through this again - isn't once enough? Why was it him again and not me? I found myself asking that question over and over again...
After Charlotte my best friend told me the news that she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer- my heart broke again. I decided I couldn't sit back and watch her go through this without helping her fight. That's when me and another friend came up with GRL PWR. We wanted to create something that would help raise awareness and money for ovarian cancer. Charlotte was only 26 when she was diagnosed - this is uncommon and came as a total shock! We felt like we needed to spread awareness and hope ....
For me GRL PWR is also there to remind anyone who has been affected by cancer that they are so awesome and strong."