REAL LIFE

Breast Cancer Survivor Sends Over 60,000 Inspiring Letters To Patients Battling This Hard Disease

Date December 27, 2017 18:24

Gina Mulligan has found a special way to spread the message of love and hope to patients dealing with cancer.

Gina, who finished her breast cancer treatment in 2011, was inspired to send handwritten mails with words of encouragement to other breast cancer patients.

According to the 47-year-old novelist, "getting letters and cards in the hospital is what got me through my own battle. The stationary and the handwriting made it feel like a gift! It was warm, and receiving something tangible is so much more personable than an email or text message.”

In August 2011, she founded a national non-profit called Girls Love Mail and recruited some volunteers to come to her house and write letters to patients. She then dropped off the letters at cancer centres.

The organisation has, since then, sent letters to 63.000 women in different centres across America.

Speaking on the first letter she wrote in 2011, Gina said, "It was emotional, more emotional than I write now, and I shared my own experiences with cancer. But it was heartfelt and honest and I wanted the woman who read it to know that we, as women, are strong and that we, as women, are fighters and survivors."

She now has over 3000 volunteers and she encourages them to make their letters personal and to share their own survival stories.

As patients get bad news and they are trying to navigate this cancer maze, they love the idea of having something positive to keep them going. When you go into radiation chambers, you’re in there by yourself, you feel very alone so we hope patients can remember their letters to remind them they aren’t alone. It raises spirits.

Julie Zander, a breast cancer survivor, recalled receiving her letter in April 2015.

“It was from an 8-year-old boy and it just made my heart melt," she narrated. “There’s something about receiving a surprise letter from a stranger that immediately lifts your spirits."

She added that the letter brought her comfort and it meant the world to her during that moment of struggle and depression.

Gina said that most of her volunteer writers are cancer survivors too but some come from school groups, Girl Scout troops and sorority/fraternity organisations.

One of the volunteers, a 78-year-old woman said, "A little encouragement can make a whole lot of difference. I’ve been there before and for women that don’t have families and are alone, it can be so, so scary. It can feel like the whole world is caving in.”

Gina says she wants every single America struggling with breast cancer to receive a note.

“I’m not going to stop writing letters until every woman with breast cancer in the country receives one,” she said emphatically.

Breast Cancer