How the kindness of strangers can give a boost to cancer patients

4.25.16

It’s amazing how a simple handwritten note of encouragement can make a huge difference for someone living with a chronic disease such as cancer.

Folsom, California, resident Gina Mulligan, a breast cancer survivor, felt that way after she received hundreds of cards and notes from friends and family, but also from strangers.

It was “letters from strangers that made the biggest impact,” she told the Sacramento Bee newspaper. “They didn’t have to, but they took up pen and paper to write something encouraging.”

The letters, she added, “are a reminder you’re not fighting this alone.”

Mulligan founded Girls Love Mail as a result. The organization has sent more than 63,000 letters to patients through hospital breast cancer centers so far. The writers range in age from elementary school students to seniors in their 90s.

This reminded us of Ellie Walton, a 3-year-old fighting brain cancer who has been receiving postcards from people all over the world and who we wrote about last month.

As we noted then, whether it’s advocating for policies to protect patients from discrimination, supporting research of cures or encouraging a little girl to stay strong in her fight against cancer, we can all work together to make the world a better place for those dealing with major health issues such as chronic disease.