Tag line: Concentration - Cancellation - Continuation.
"A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug." Patricia Neal
Act I: Linda Quispe transitioned from graduating from Utica Free Academy - Cosmetology to attending the Criminal Justice Institute Broward Community College - Corrections Academy and completing multiple advanced courses.
Act II: In August 2005, following 20 years in law enforcement and security, Linda transitioned from being an advocate for justice to being an advocate for survival after she was diagnosed with Stage III lung cancer.
Act III: In November 2006, Linda transitioned from assisting the City of Lauderhill's Police Department with their Citizen Observer Patrol Program to being a messenger of hope to cancer patients.
How does one get from "there" to "here"? For Linda, it began as a fairly traditional journey. Born and raised in Utica, NY, she was part of a large Italian family. Her parents have been married for 65 years and provided a happy, safe, inviting home where extended family and friends gathered on weekends and holidays.
She followed family members to Florida 18 years ago, loves the weather, misses "real" pizza, loves going "back home" for visits, and can't imagine living anywhere else. While working as a police dispatcher, she discovered a new vocation and eagerly returned to school. Her career in law enforcement advanced and opened new opportunities for Linda to develop her communication, management, and leadership skills.
A simple fall in August 2005 sent her life spinning. Linda has always been a woman of strong faith. When her back continued to hurt after the fall, she went to Cleveland Clinic and learned that her back was just fine, but the tests had revealed a mass in her left lung. Linda was stunned - but put her life firmly in God's hands. Following the removal of the left lobe of her lung, Linda was advised to have chemotherapy. Unfortunately, all of this had taken place during a narrow window in time when Linda was in-between jobs - and did not have health insurance - so did not receive chemotherapy.
The discovery of a tiny metastasis during a check-up in November 2006 sent Linda down another path she never dreamed she would travel - Stage IV lung cancer and now, chemotherapy and radiation. Struggling to make sense of all she was going through, she began keeping a journal and became convinced this was an opportunity to build a new career. Linda was driven by the belief that if she survived this latest challenge, she would spend the rest of her life spreading hope and sending the message that cancer is NOT a death sentence.
"Stage IV no more!" Concentration - Cancellation - Continuation. Linda firmly states her "cancer has been cancelled." For Linda, her cancer is not in remission - it's dead and cannot come back. She established Cancel Cancer Crusades. Through her organization, she offers emotional support to those fighting cancer and provides free wigs to people going through chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Linda can still be moved to tears as she recalls how she felt and how she looked when she went through chemotherapy and the ensuing months. She believes that all of the negative doubts, fears, and frustrations can interfere with the healing process and hopes she makes patients feel a little better by providing them with free wigs.
She knows how invaluable support is and credits Pastor Desmond Samuels, Linda Hall, Sandra Insang, and Pastor Janice Dillard along with her "fantastic" medical team from the Broward General Medical Hospital - especially Dr. Israel Wiznitzer, Dr. Eugene N. Costantini, and Dr. Durairaj Venkatasamy - for pulling her through the battle and emerging victorious. Her family, children, and friends know how strong her faith is and how determined she is to remain a healthy and formidable force in this fight.
Linda plans for the day when she has a veritable army of crusaders. She wants to see victorious men, women, and children spreading the word and waging war against cancer. In addition to what she is presently doing, she wants to create a Happy Birthday Club, a 24 x 7 support-line, and an annual Survival Ball. Linda dreams big.
She is a resilient "faith-filled woman of God." Eleanor Roosevelt once said: "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do." Every cancer patient knows how true this is - and Linda intends on doing all she can to help each person each step of the way.
Cancel Cancer Crusades