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Living life to make a positive difference

Richard Dickens leads a group discussion at CancerCare. Screenshot courtesy of CNN.

Richard Dickens had already been accepted into Columbia University’s social work graduate program when he was diagnosed with a terminal case of cancer, according to this blog and video clip on CNN.

He asked a nurse how long he had to live and she said just 10 years. So Dickens decided to live by a quote that said a person should try to make a difference, no matter how much time they have left to live.

So he earned his master’s degree although the cancer returned after chemotherapy. However he is now cancer free more than a decade after his first diagnosis, thanks to a bone marrow transplant from his sister.

Dickens, who is a National Association of Social Workers member, decided to devote his career to helping other people living with cancer. He is an oncology social worker at CancerCare, a national organization that offers free counseling and support groups, financial assistance and other aid to people affected by cancer.

“CancerCare helped me when I was first diagnosed, and now I’m giving back by helping people find their way after a diagnosis,” he said.

Cheers to CNN for letting Dickens blog about his story.

To learn more about how social workers help people with cancer visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Cancer website by clicking here.

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