Hello! My name is Emi Schipor. I’m 25 and I’m currently living in Cluj, Romania. I work as a fundraiser for the Little People Association (a childhood cancer organisation in Romania) and have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with gaming! My ambition is to bring to life the first long term follow-up centre for cancer survivors in my home country.
I’ll tell you why YCE’s #removelabels campaign is important to me: I was diagnosed with germinal testicular cancer in 2010, just 3 months away from my 17th birthday.
While I think that my positive attitude became my main drive to get me through treatment, and the experience played a huge part in who I am today, I believe that the subject of cancer is still very much taboo amongst young people; especially when it comes to dealing with it during or at the beginning of a relationship.
As I survivor, I’ve always found myself with two choices: tell the person I’m dating that I had cancer and face a possible rejection, or keep it a secret until you feel safe enough to share; but you risk having them reject you because you held it back.
This applies of course to people that do not have visible scars or side effects that can give it away and even then, the majority of young people try and hide the fact that they have or have had cancer.
Creating awareness about these stigmas is important in order to break down those social barriers – I’m much more than my cancer history, and I wish to be seen as much more than just a survivor.