DC poets aim to inspire while raising cancer awareness

Fighting a terminal disease like cancer is no small challenge but it’s a battle that countless brave people with the diagnosis still struggle to beat. While scientists devote their lives to investigating a cure, Christoph Jenkins has taken a different approach. His approach is to impact, inspire, and raise awareness about the disease.

When his close friend, Justin Izlar lost his battle to Osteosarcoma in 2012, Jenkins decided to start the charity, Fighting Cancer With Poetry, Inc.(FCWP). The idea for the charity was created around Justin’s interest in writing poetry that often described how he lived with the disease between 2005 and his untimely passing in 2012 at the young age of 25.

Fighting Cancer With Poetry was founded in memory of Justin Izlar, (Pictured)
Fighting Cancer With Poetry was founded in memory of Justin Izlar, (Pictured)

“Justin used poetry to aid in his fight against this deadly disease,” said Jenkins. “Immediately after being diagnosed, Justin began writing and performing poetry about his fight.”

Today, Jenkins has kept his dear friend’s memory alive by creating a forum for poets and spoken word performers to discuss their feelings of living with the disease. In little over two years, the organization has partnered with several businesses and organizations to bring attention and awareness in the community.

M Lifestyle: August 14, 2014- Fighting Cancer With Poetry

Though the scope is focused around cancer awareness, they don’t limit their involvement in the community to just helping those living with the disease. In fact, every month on second Saturdays they bring their performers to serve the disadvantaged with another charity, A Friend To The Homeless. While there, they bring attention to various cancers, screenings, while connecting with the underprivileged community.

“FCWP has also partnered with the Sarcoma Foundation of America, Inc.to launch a groundbreaking cancer awareness project where we have collaborated to host monthly Online Poetry Workshops,” Jenkins said. “These workshops will teach and encourage cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors to use writing and poetry to heal, cope, and express their feelings.”

The organization attributes its rapid growth and success to those who simply want to get involved and help.

Fighting Cancer With Poetry Poets“We are not just an organization that provides a service, we provide an environment and an opportunity for others to get involved and support those who have been affected by cancer by using their gifts and talents,” Jenkins said. “Our mission is to basically show people that there is a fun and creative way to fight cancer.”

When you support the organization’s fundraisers, you’re helping to fund cancer awareness projects as well as its lended support to the Sarcoma Foundation of America.

“Although FCWP is in its infancy, it has hit the ground running in meeting its goals to bring awareness to not only sarcoma, but also all cancers and various screening opportunities,” Jenkins said. “We’ve done a great bit and God still has more for us to do this year.”

To learn more about Fighting Cancer With Poetry and how to get involved in your neighborhood, visit them online.

“FCWP is booked to perform Spoken Word Poetry and host poetry workshops across the country. Supporters can stay up to date on when we’ll be in a city near them to attend an event,” Jenkins said. “We host Poetry Jam fundraisers triannually at Busboys and Poets that are open to the public.”

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