Shante N. Freckleton has participated in two Breathe Deep walks since 2018 and with her team Datsy’s GIrls, formed in honor of her mother who passed away in 2017, and has raised almost $2000 towards lung cancer awareness. Shante was born and raised in Queens, New York, where she works for American Express, while simultaneously operating her law practice, S. Freckleton Law PLLC (@sfreckletonlaw), charity, Datsy’s Girls (@datsysgirls), and serving as counsel for a local non-profit, Empower My Hood, Inc. (@emhinc).
How did you first get involved with LUNGevity as a lung cancer advocate?
After my mom passed in November 2017, I began searching for organizations that hosted walks for lung cancer awareness in an effort to work through my grieving process and honor her memory. It was during my search that I came across LUNGevity and was immediately drawn to the mission. I participated in my first Breathe Deep walk in the fall of 2018 in New York City. Shortly thereafter, in doing more research, I found out about the opportunity to become a Social Media Ambassador and signed up to do so; the opportunity to become a Social Media Ambassador aligned wonderfully with both my missions, to bring awareness to lung cancer and to offer a support system for caregivers through my charity Datsy’s Girls.
Why did you choose to be part of this particular organization?
I appreciated the fact that LUNGevity was both focused on lending support to both patients and caregivers and also heavily involved in advocating for lung cancer research. I find that oftentimes the journey of the caregiver can be overlooked or overshadowed and it was nice to find an organization that was equally invested in both patient and caregiver care/support.
Can you describe your role as a LUNGevity advocate?
As a LUNGevity advocate, I try my best to highlight resources that I believe are valuable to both patients, caregivers and other advocates. I share my mother’s story so that others patients and caregivers know that while every path differs, they are not alone in their journey.
What is the most rewarding thing you get out of being an advocate?
It’s being able to share information that others may be hesitant and look for on their own. I remember when my mother was diagnosed, I was scared to google anything because you almost always find the most dire information. It’s nice to be able to share information in a more filtered manner that while being conscientious of one’s mental state also provides informative information.
What impact do you hope your advocacy efforts will make?
I hope that it alleviates the loneliness that accompanies a journey like this one. There’s no cancer manual, everyone’s experience is different; but again, it’s not a journey that anyone should have to face alone if they don’t want to. And by anyone, I mean both the patients and the caregivers.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get involved in advocacy?
Find an organization who has a mission that relates to what you’re looking for and if you can’t find one, start your own. It is an empowering feeling to be a part of something bigger than yourself and rewarding in so many ways for all involved.
What gives you hope?
Functioning with the mindset that none of this is in vain; nothing we experience is in vain, there is purpose behind it all. I may not see the rewards of my work, but I know in the long run my efforts will positively impact many and that is good enough for me.
Are you interested in joining Shante in her efforts to drive change in lung cancer? Become a lung cancer advocate by signing up for the LUNGevity Action Network.
LUNGevity Spotlight is a way to highlight people living with lung cancer, caregivers, volunteers, and fundraisers who are making a positive impact in the LUNGevity community. We hope that their stories will inspire and encourage many more to get involved.
If you know someone in the LUNGevity community whom you'd like us to Spotlight, please nominate them here.