Living Proof Blog

Next week: meet the advocates in Living Proof

Advocates’ stories–and the insights they share about their advocacy–are a central part of Living Proof. We’ve highlighted a few here in the Living Proof blog, like

Here are a few more of the advocates and their stories you’ll read about in the new edition of Living Proofdue out in just one week:

Becky Blanton went from living in her van in a Walmart parking lot to telling her story on becky bow bestthe stage of TED.com: “The speed at which I went from being a talented writer and journalist to being a homeless woman, living in a van, took my breath away.”

Carey Christensen came forward with her experience of Parkinson’s Disease because she didn’t hear patient’s voices in the advocacy discourse. Now she’s a patient advocate for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research: “We Carey-Christensenhave our own voices and we have our own stories to tell, and I am not going to let my caregiver tell it and I am not going to let the head of some foundation tell it. I am going to tell it.”

Derek Cotton, cancer survivor, didn’t think he had a story to tell when he was approached by Gilda’s Club Twin Cities. “My first response was, ‘I don’t think I’m your guy. I don’t Derek2have this fantastic story to tell. I don’t have anything dramatic to say.’ I had cancer. I got better.”

Theresa Greenleaf, mom of a child with severe allergies, was asked by the school nurse to share her experiences with other parents: “What I really wanted to do was … to share the Theresamoment of nearly losing my child—to have them reflect on the reality of this situation.”

Read these and other stories in the new, expanded edition of Living Proof–and learn to tell your own.

The President’s Youngest Advisor on HIV/AIDS Stays Focused

LawrenceSince speaking publicly in local high schools about his HIV-positive status only a few months after his diagnosis at age seventeen, Lawrence Stallworth II has addressed college students, doctors, and legislators, the United Nations and the United States Conference on AIDS. Now—at twenty-three—he’s the youngest member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

Here’s Proof!

Here are two entries we’ve received for “Where’s Your Living Proof?” Kristin and Stephanie’s favorite nonprofits are now in the running to receive an end-of-the-year gift. (Yours could be, too. Tell us how you’re using Living Proof to enter!)

“I’ve shared my story of living with domestic violence via blogging for many years, but I am now beginning to share my story in person with a variety of audiences. I’ve used Living Proof to help me determine the best way to tailor my story and message for each audience, whether I am talking with victims in a shelter, advocates at a conference or potential donors. Writing is a much more comfortable and natural medium for me than public speaking, so the book has proved valuable in helping me feel more confident in speaking publicly about my personal experiences and insights.” — Kristin

Living Proof has become one if the essential tools that I provide all of the self-advocates I train. Whether they are just learning to advocate for themselves or if they are tackling a bigger issue on behalf of others, building the foundation through telling our personal stories is essential. Even if you never use your story in public, you must know it to know where you fit and how you connect with the world around you.” –Stephanie

“People tell stories not just to work out their own changing identities, but also to guide others who will follow them. They seek not to provide a map that can guide others—each must create his own—but rather to witness the experience of reconstructing one’s own map….” – Arthur W. Frank