Sylvia Ramsey is an author and bladder cancer survivor who is dedicated to raising awareness of the disease. She works tirelessly to help bladder cancer get as much attention as other cancers. Just last week, Emmy-winning television host and “Moon River” crooner Andy Williams died at age 84 from bladder cancer. The silky-voiced singer, called “a national treasure” by President Ronald Reagan, died at his home in Branson, Missouri.
He’d been battling the disease for a year… a battle he chose to keep private.
That’s something Sylvia doesn’t understand.
“We talk about colon cancer, we talk about prostate cancer, but for some reason…”
For some reason, we don’t talk about bladder cancer, but our Giving Your Best award winner is out to change that.
When Sylvia was diagnosed with the disease, there was very little information about it. So in 2008, she was the driving force behind a group that formed the American Bladder Cancer Society.
“Actually what I started out doing was setting up a group on Yahoo. Together, we created the ABLCS because it was a dream for all of us to be out there for people and caregivers, as well as diagnosed and survivors.”
So it kind of makes sense that, with a community of 4,000 on her ABLCS page, she’s got a lot of cyber friends and admirers.
“The lady who nominated me- we met on the internet, we’ve never met face-to-face, yet we’ve become very good friends.”
One of the goals of the society is to find a high-profile spokesperson, like so many of the famous faces we see speaking out about breast cancer.
“We’ve tried to contact people in the media, or whatever, that we know have a connection to bladder cancer, to help be spokespeople for us, and to help get the information out, but we have not been that lucky.”
So, Sylvia continues on, raising awareness and putting her experiences on paper. She’s a published author who just released her 4th book: “Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts.”
And as with her other books, proceeds go to the American Bladder Cancer Society.
“The good overcomes the bad, it’s just an attitude and how you approach it. And you believe in yourself, and that you can do it.”
Sylvia would also like to reach out to people in the medical field, to help them understand the disease from a patient’s perspective.
“I would love to be able to get in to some of the schools so that students who are going into radiology, physical therapy, nursing, to be able to let them understand what it like for the survivor when they get diagnosed with bladder cancer.”