Overcoming adversity, together


Adversity, in every form, causes a ripple effect. Just ask Alice Bastien.

In the past four years, 81-year-old Bastien has seen three of her children diagnosed with cancer. As they deal with their individual prognoses, and their families cope with the consequences of treatment, the impact is felt beyond their inner circle. Bastien is affected. Friends and family are affected. Doctors and nurses are affected by each new patient who comes under their care. And health care and non-profit advocates are affected, as another chapter is written in their story of struggle, survival and loss.

The ripple extends even further. These people are challenged in different ways and cope in different ways, but through their individual journeys comes a common path. These patients, survivors, loved ones, doctors and more, come together to fight for a better future for the men and women who have yet to feel the ripple. They pave the way for others – the future patients, survivors, loved ones, doctors and more. Bastien will push forward on that path this Saturday, as she joins the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation for their annual Our Heroes fashion show. She is representing her children, and by extension, becoming a hero to others, and another ripple in the pond.

There are countless examples of this. One family, destroyed by cancer, created the Gloria Gemma Foundation. Rhode Island Pink Heals has a similar story, of one firefighter who wanted to take action in honor of his mother. Trace the roots of charitable organizations, small and large, and chances are the seed was planted by an individual like Alice, who was impacted firsthand.

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, in 2010, there were 1,514,530 non-profits in the United States, and nearly 8,000 in Rhode Island alone. That’s a lot of ripples.

If you have experienced the devastation of cancer, or any adversity for that matter, than you’ve probably pledged your support to one of those 1.5 million non-profits. Because if you know how tough the fight for your life can be, then you’re most likely willing to help others, even strangers, get through it.

If the ripple of adversity hasn’t caused waves in your life yet, consider yourself lucky; but don’t wait to join today’s heroes in forging a better tomorrow.


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