Thuong Sobey, a lecturer in journalism, a founder of BCNV recognized that a mild swelling in the middle of the forearm had appeared on her body and no more special symptoms at all. Therefore she went to the hospital for health examination. Unfortunately, after a long time of examination in many hospitals, she got diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer just after her happy engagement ceremony. She set to search information related to breast cancer both in English and in Vietnamese and realized that it is likely that there is not enough information to help her inappropriate treatment decision-making. After many searches of breast cancer, she also recognized that thousands of Vietnamese women suffering breast cancer seem to fight with the disease in a physically and mentally anguished way. Most of them appear to lose confidence in themselves during the treatment as well as after the treatment. Not only that, they seem to be lonely, spiritually isolated because they might probably not seek any sympathy from a community who has the same voice. Thuong held a desperate hope of using her expertise as well as the rest of her time to share information to people of the same plight to help them partly reduce their anguish and improve their quality of life. Obviously, when women are educated to detect early disease, they would more be inclined to return to normal life should they not have to be treated for life and spend a large sum of money for treatment. Or else, everything would deem to become a bad situation. It could be the patient’s lifetime and quality of life is likely to reduce in the Vietnam context because of late diagnosis. The idea of establishing the Vietnam Breast Cancer Network sprung up after she underwent a surgery for stage 4 breast cancer in Australia. Particularly, that momentum is even stronger when Thuong receives social support from the health system in the country. Thuong knew that the BCNV would have a clearer focus on solving the problem about women suffering from breast cancer. Thuong Sobey, born in a farmer family in a small village in Ha Tay (now Hanoi) on July 18, 1982, graduated from the Faculty of Journalism and Communication of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in 2004.
She held a strong belief that social media has a vital role in fruitfully solving society-related-in problems, especially problems about social substantial development. Also, she was a founder of a volunteer club called Loving arms in 2006. The club and her launched series of campaigns including fund-raising, promotion with the purpose of support to breast cancer patients all over Hanoi, support to upwardly mobile children in mountainous areas, social discrimination decrease for infected-with-HIV women and children for years.
- 1 out of 10 faces receiving “Gương mặt Phụ nữ Thủ đô Tiêu biểu 2013” (Notable women of the Capital in 2013)
- Certificate of Merit by University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University – Hanoi for her excellent accomplishment for computerizing lectures in 2012
- Receive a full Australian government scholarship for Master degree (2009-2011)
- Certificate of Merit by VGAC and Australian Embassy for Superior Contribution to Substantial Social Development
- Vietnamese Representative participating in the Leadership Conference on Cancer held by UICC in Melbourne, Australia in December 2014
“The property that I always bring along and always possess is the love that I received from the heart and soul of others and the attitude of living optimistically in all the irony. They will be with me even if I die.” – Thuong Sobey
Tien, a co-founder and CEO of Breast Cancer Network Vietnam (BCNV), is launching a series of projects for breast cancer patients.
Tien, a graduate of the Faculty of law (University of Dalat) was working as an assistant to General Manager of a French hotel in Dalat city. Out of the blue, she knew about the health examination of her sister, Thuong Sobey who got diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Without hesitant, she left everything in Dalat city to come back to Hanoi with the only purpose of taking care of her sister. “Before I discovered her disease, I was living, studying in Dalat city. My family was not able to support me so I had to go to school and get to work part-time. I love Dalat because people is friendly and life is peaceful. I have a decision of settling and inviting my parents to live with me in Dalat. However, her test results changed everything, not only her life but also my life. I left Dalat, my intention behind.” Thuy Tien chokingly said.
Tien and her family used to struggle, on one hand, with the disease itself. On the other hand, they got stuck in vagueness because of the lack of available information resources related to breast cancer. Tien also realized that people of the same plight seemingly faced the same difficulty regarding information dearth as her family did. Because it is likely that there is no existing organization who supports breast cancer patients. Therefore, Thuong Sobey and Thuy Tien, with all their attempt, established Breast Cancer Network Vietnam (BCNV).
Thuy Tien, overcoming difficult two years of fighting with the disease and gradually accepting the truth of the loss of their beloved sister, realized that some by-product advantages had seemingly unknowingly appeared to her family. They have been inclined to cherish every moment of being together and figure out the values of human being.
She, after 3 years of BCNV establishment, partly feel proud because she, to some respects, helps breast cancer patients become more optimistic about their lives.
- Certificate of Merit for her contribution to Asian Sustainable Development in August 2016
- Listed in Top 30 Under 30 in 2016 by Forbes Vietnam
- A Viet Nam Outstanding Young Face of 2015
- 2014 National volunteer award
- A Young Promising Face 2014
Tien is pursuing the Master degree sponsored by Australian government scholarship for the purpose of developing BCNV in a professional and sustainable way.
“This book is worth reading. It could be for the one who is still living but getting stuck with the life. For her, living is just surviving. She has a feeling of being already “dead” for so long so that waits for being buried! Given that, “A second chance at life” is a timely reminder of living the short life with fullness”
"A second chance at life" is a must-read book not only for the one who is pessimistic about struggling with an incurable disease, going fast toward the death. It could be for the one who is still living but getting stuck with the life. For her, living is just surviving. She is likely to have a feeling of being already “dead” for so long so that wait for being buried! Given that, “A second chance at life” is a timely reminder of living the short life with fullness”