At Dreams2Live4, we are inspired daily by the stories of our Dreamers. Stories make you both laugh and cry, that inspire, devastate and enchant. We are dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives and using our funds to make Dreams come true. But the next step is sharing these dreams and individual stories with others. To share these stories is to make the heartbreak of metastatic cancer known: in the hope that people will be inspired to donate money or time to make Dreams happen.
When our small, dedicated team of Dream Makers are busy making Dreams come true, our interns and volunteers are helping us to share these inspiring stories. Vast and varied, our interns have backgrounds in communications, events, marketing, advertising, journalism and public relations. We sat down with a few of our interns- Meg, Penny and Olivia- to learn about why they do what they do.
What motivated or inspired you to intern at Dreams2Live4?
Meg: There is something incredibly rewarding about seeing skills I have learned at university translate into a project which is aiding the lives of so many. The charity does such wonderful work and I think this is evidenced by the sheer appreciation of grateful ‘Dreamer’s’ who are able to share their stories. These people deserve a voice and I couldn’t help but want to affiliate myself with a charity who is doing just that.
Penny: Interning is part of the requirement of my university degree, but for the most part, that means getting coffee and doing filing for a massive office full of people that don’t want anything to do with you! I knew that working for Dreams2Live4 would be different, because it’s a team of beautiful, caring people who are trying to make the world a better place. If you have to be working for free, it may as well be somewhere that you can see the difference your making and be valued for all that you contribute to the worthwhile cause!
What has been the most enjoyable part of your work with D2L4
Meg: I have found it incredibly rewarding to learn about the stories of several dreamers and compile these stories into pieces of creative content which can be shared. You can’t help but feel personally connected to these individuals and their families and the opportunity to work closely with these unique journeys and tell their stories was such an enriching experience. I wanted everyone to hear these stories and that gave each project more meaning.
Penny: The Dreams Ball was such a wonderful time to raise money and celebrate everything that Dreams is able to achieve. It was such a good experience to see the real impact we have on people’s lives, and to see those who had been touched by D2L4 whether they are family members or nurses etc who have come to the ball to celebrate and support.
What has been the most inspiring Dreamer you worked with/ heard about
Meg: From the very first meeting I had about this opportunity I was immediately touched by the story of one particular dreamer, Michael. His dream was to take a holiday with his family and ‘feel like a normal family again’. Seeing his family talk about their holiday and reflect on how it restored hope and happiness where they had already lost so much made me realise how much good this charity is doing. A dream can be humble, as it was in this case but that in itself shows a little can go a long way. Everyday a dream can be granted and often purely by the generosity of others. It is clear that this family and many others just want a chance to enjoy the simple pleasures of life that we take for granted.
Olivia: I was so touched by one of our Dreamers with a passion for gardening. As his condition weakened, he could no longer carry water from the sink of his house to the garden. His humble wish was simply for a hose, allowing him to water his beloved garden. This is a Dream that happened long before I began working with Dreams2Live4, yet it is one I tell so many people about due to its pure simplicity.
Do you have any personal experience with cancer? Have any of your family/close friends etc. been impacted by cancer?
Penny: My grandmother and a lot of other close family members have been effected by cancer. For me, the hardest thing was seeing the way chemo crushes the spirit and takes the life out of people. Dreams2Live4 is so important because they are trying to restore exactly what often gets lost with a cancer diagnosis.
Olivia: There is not a person I know whose life hasn’t been affected by cancer in some way. Friends have fought it, grandparents lost to it and many more struggle every single day. The devastation I have seen it cause families is immense and the time it takes away is unfair. They say that lost time is never found again. But Dreams2Live4 can give patients precious time to spend with their loved ones to create ever so special memories.
What has been the most emotional/difficult part of the process?
Penny: I think the difficulty comes when you have to maintain professionalism dealing with such emotional issues. These are people’s everyday experiences but sometimes it’s so hard not to cry when you hear what they’ve been through, or the impact that the charity has made.
Olivia: Definitely watching and re-watching incredibly emotional footage as I trim/cut and create the videos of our inspiring Dreamers. Watching Michael Strawbridge’s daughter, Emily wipe the tears from her mum’s eyes as she talks about the impact of Dreams always brings a tear to my eye!
Would you recommend it to others?
Penny: Meaghan, Louise and the team are some of the nicest, most supportive people you will ever meet. They challenge and inspire you in a way that makes you want to do everything you can to help them. You learn a lot, you’re constantly encouraged and you have a resume that makes your heart full, it doesn’t get much better.
Olivia: There is nothing more rewarding that doing this type of work: using your skills to truly make a difference. It makes such a difference to personal motivation: you really want to put in the extra mile because you know exactly the difference it will make to so many lives. Another reason I would recommend it is Meaghan and Louise’s strong and never-ending support, gratitude and encouragement. It is a pleasure and a privilege to work for them and I have never felt so empowered by a boss in my entire life.
If you are a caring individual or organisation, there are many ways that you can help Dreams come true. You can help by donating for a single Dream or many Dreams. You can help by joining the Dreams2Live4 community and attending an event or holding one of your own. You can help by volunteering your time and skills or simply by liking our Facebook page and signing up for our newsletter.