Saturday, November 6, 2010

Meet the participants: Synergy Devonshire - survivor and caregiver

Our final participant in this roll call is Synergy Devonshire.

Synergy is a two times cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 and has completed treatment. Two years ago, however, she was discovered to have a soft tissue sarcoma in her face. That treatment has also finished, although she says: ‘I will always be watched. But the important thing is that I am here.’

She is always ready to reach out and help people who need support in SL. She also knows what it is like to be a caregiver in real life. ‘My best friend developed a rare gestational cancer – choriocarcinoma - and her husband left her. It was a stage 4 cancer when it was diagnosed, four months after my goddaughter was born. At the time, I was in the middle of a divorce and had the space, so I moved them in so that I could be there for her. She wasn't expected to survive at first, and I am in awe of her grace throughout her journey. It was a long three-year fight, with intensive chemotherapy. My friend celebrated her five-year anniversary in July of this year, and went back to teaching a year ago. Attitude really can beat the odds!’

Synergy has been in SL since 2006 and is a founder-member and support group moderator of the SL Cancer Survivors group. ‘It was a great distraction for me and helped me focus on other people and not be swallowed up by what was happening to me.’ She is also closely involved in other American Cancer Society’s activities in SL such as Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC). She has recently accepted a volunteer position that is responsible for ACS's Mission Delivery across all virtual worlds. ‘Trader1 Whiplash and I are working now to set up the program. MSABC has now been moved into the Mission area’.

‘I am flattered about having been chosen as a Makeover Magic participant’ she says.

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