Many of us go through ups and downs in life, and sometimes these downs can take the most of us. It’s the strong people who manage to get past them and not let these hardships define their lives. International Women’s Day is a reason for us to celebrate strong women; ones who inspire us and give us hope. This year, we decided to put the spotlight on an Egyptian woman who turned her struggle into a beam of hope for those facing the same hardship as her: Nour Ali Shokry. Nour is a 33-year-old Egyptian who chose to turn her fight against cancer into an inspiring journey, and a way to support other cancer survivors.
Nour Shokry, who describes herself as an HR professional in the morning, and a cancer advocate at night, was diagnosed with cancer last year and received immense support from her family, friends, and doctors. Following which, she decided to pay it forward by supporting other survivors. “Cancer is scary, but if you do not face it, it will beat you. This is what I told myself. So, I had to pull myself together for the fight! I kept telling myself that my cancer doesn’t define me – my journey does,” she explained.
Nour took us with her on her journey and how she created ‘Together We CANcer Community,’ and what she has reached so far. “When I got diagnosed, I was so lost and there wasn’t a support group, or people I can talk to. So, it took me around 5-6 weeks to be able to understand and digest. Once I did, I felt that it is my responsibility to push this forward to others and there is no better platform than Facebook to do this, hence I created the group,” she said.
In our conversation with her, Shokry emphasized her keenness to change people’s perception about cancer, chemotherapy, and cancer patients in general. “People have been calling it other names but cancer, and this doesn’t change the facts. Also, my platform is a positive platform that is full of support and fun. We try to provide facts through experiences not through Google,” said Shokry.
Stemming from her firm belief that self-love is a pre-requisite for strength, Shokry advises all women to choose themselves over anything else every time they can, because that’s the way they’ll eventually be able to support those around them.
Cancer is truly one tough journey, but survivors like Nour are the ones who give fellow survivors, and everyone in general, the strength to overcome their own struggles. It can take us years to know how strong we are, but once we realise our strength, we become unstoppable and inspiring to all the people around us.