Meet the Member: Humor Beats Cancer

Hi, my name is Olivia Clarke Silver and I founded Humor Beats Cancer in November 2017. My blog consists of those in their 20s, 30s and 40s sharing funny, poignant stories from their cancer journeys to create a sense of empathy and to provide joy to those facing something so dark. It’s really caught on and people from all over the world have shared humorous stories and connect through the blog and the blog’s social media.

When did you start blogging and what inspired you to start you blog?

I’ve managed clients’ blogs and done my own blogging on and off for years. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35 in 2015 and underwent chemotherapy, radiation, a mastectomy and several reconstruction surgeries. I kept a blog “Cancer Sucks” that detailed my journey so that people could keep up on my progress and also to shine a light on young adult cancer. Fast-forward to 2017 and I’m in remission and wanted to figure out a way to create something positive from such a hellish experience. I realized that there was nothing that really spoke to young adult cancer patients and nothing that talked about living rather than how to avoid death. There is just so much ridiculous stuff you see when getting treatment and I wondered if others were also witnessing these funny moments. It turns out many, many people are. And that’s how Humor Beats Cancer was born.

What is your favorite blog post that you have written?

Since most of the blog pieces are written by other people (and I edit them lightly for typos and consistency), one of my favorite blog pieces was written by Beth from the UK called “Laughing Cancer into Submission.” Those diagnosed with bowel or rectal cancer tend to have the best sense of humor, probably because these types of cancer involve areas of the body people don’t often talk about casually. I loved how she takes every piece of bad news with humor and love. She’s an example of all the bloggers who have so much strength and passion for life.

What do you love about blogging?

I come from a journalism background so I love the chance to tell people’s stories. I like the idea of people connecting across continents and sharing their stories with the hope of brightening someone’s day. Young adult cancer patients are dealing with a whole bunch of different challenges because they have been in the midst of dating or must decide whether they will fight to have children after treatment. When most young people are enjoying being carefree, they must treat their lives so much more carefully. It’s easy to forget to laugh or feel like it’s wrong to laugh. I love that blogging for Humor Beats Cancer allows people to be human and reminds them that they still have a life to live.

What are some brands that you have worked with, or some brands that you would love to work with?

I’d love to work with brands that celebrate humor and life and that are geared to those in their20s, 30s and 40s. I’d also like to work with brands that are geared to young adult cancer patients or can help those facing cancer continue living their life.