The Mama Cing Project

I. DIAGNOSIS

It was a devastating day for the family. My grandmother was diagnosed with Stage 3 Cervical Cancer. She’s the strongest and probably the youngest looking 79 year old woman in the city. Why her? Probably the whole family is in the state of denial. First and Second opinions suggested the same treatment: the agony of the chemotherapy.

II. THE PROJECT

Out of my depression after her diagnosis, I have decided to make a project which involves the Couchsurfing Community. I asked all the capital cities of the world to write a ‘get well soon” note on a piece of paper, take a picture with it and send it to my email. This is nothing new to the community since a number of people have already done this as a birthday greeting and as a wedding proposal. I am not sure if this is the first “get well soon” CS project for a grandmother with a cancer.

After completing Asia, I received my first email and it was from China. Attached to the email were two pictures: one from a Chinese girl and one from her Swedish guest. After a couple of minutes, an email from Turkey and Bahrain arrived. A bulk of email arrived after a couple of hours. I hardly had enough sleep that night because I was excited to open each email, reply to each sender and celebrate the fact that the world united to pray for my grandma. I love all the pictures. They were all done with love. The effort is overwhelming. I cannot post all the pictures but here are some of them:

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This little cute boy was from Algiers, Algeria.
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Couchsurfers and Snowmen united in Latvia to send some love…
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Cheers to the Party People of Hungary! Thanks for the love!
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Little girls from Myanmar. Thanks to Couchsurfer and Music Teacher, Wint Yee Phyo!
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Don’t forget, the little boys from Myanmar!
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Awesome family from Slovenia sending their love and wishes!

To date, I have received 143 pictures from 54 Countries. Aside from the pictures, I have received a short song composition, a short video and a poem. Some of the Couchsurfers sent some stories about losing a grandma, surviving a cancer and other heartwarming stuffs.

III. DOING THE PROJECT

I have 143 pictures. Now what?

After asking the opinions of “experts” we have finally arrived on making a scrapbook. The original plan was to make a collage but because we received a huge number of pictures, it would be impossible for us to carry it around.

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I brought the digital copies to our local Photo Developer.
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My friend Dennis Chamian (guy in red) offered his crayons and colored pencils in order for us to make a colorful scrapbook.
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Our office trainees (which I prefer to call friends) volunteered to design the scrapbook. They did a great job.

IV. REALIZATION

I have been an active couchsurfer for more than 2 years now. I have been organizing activities, attending events and hosting people who need a couch. But this was different. The project revealed a different face of Couchsurfing. We are all travelers, but because of this project, I realized that there is more to traveling.

143 Complete Strangers contributed something small but for a greater and meaningful cause. Isn’t that beautiful?

Love will surpass everything. Love conquers fear. Love heals…and most  importantly, LOVE can unite the world.

V. The Day of the First Chemotherapy

I was happy that we were able to complete the project on time. I woke up early, joined grandma during her breakfast. After her meal, I gave her the  Scrapbook. She was speechless.Image She told me that she’ll be strong because the whole world loves her and is praying for her. She even left her bag in the car just to carry the big black scrapbook.

As I write this post, my grandma has undergone 3 Radiation Therapies and 1 Chemotherapy.. It’s a miracle that she neither felt pain nor any side-effects. Let us continue praying for her.

To all those who sent pictures and took time to do the project, My grandma and I will be forever grateful!

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2 thoughts on “The Mama Cing Project”

  1. Wow… this project is an example to the world. It just left us speechless, how awesome it is! It is incredible how people can unite for a cause. Grandma will recover soon, we are sure of that… there is a whole world out there with her… she will never be alone.
    Be strong!!!!!!!!!!

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