Life, Liberty, & Happiness

The Power of Sharing Your Story


ometimes you get really lucky - and you meet someone with whom you find a deep personal connection and a powerful friendship forms. Scott Hamilton has become that kind of friend. We share a passion to help others - especially those who have cancer.

Yesterday, Scott and I had the opportunity to share the podium to speak to over 400 cancer survivors - sharing our own personal story and encouraging our audience to share their stories to help others in the journey. The hotel ballroom was filled with women from all over the Country in various stages of cancer: some in remission, some in recurrence, others in active treatment. The key message was simple - medicine may offer a cure - but our real emotional healing comes when we share our stories.

I met so many strong women whose stories were inspiring. In their eyes, I saw strength. I saw pain. I saw joy. I saw character. I saw hope. I saw gratitude. I was reminded of that there's no dress rehearsal in life, we get one shot - so make it count.

We all have our stories. If we share them, they can inspire. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and share our story, we open hearts and minds to possibility. We ignite hope. We share deep insight.

There were five key points from our discussion I'd like to share:

  1. Our stories are what keep us human when dealing with a complex disease - otherwise, we become little more than a medical record number within the healthcare system. Our stories allow medical practitioners to see the human first - not the disease.
  2. Our stories can connect us with others who share the same illness or a similar journey. These connections remind us we are not alone. They form bonds of support that transcend time and distance.
  3. Our stories move hearts and cause others to think more deeply about the issues, the policies, and the realities of healthcare. Decisions about coverage, pre-existing conditions and insurance aren't nearly so simple when they are personified with names and faces.
  4. Our stories can unite us as a community in powerful ways - and become a force for change.
  5. Our stories are our legacy - they amplify our journey. They have meaning for us, for our families, and for the survivor community. They hold deep lessons for those yet unnamed souls who will hear these words "you have cancer..." And when they do, our story could be the spark of hope or the source of courage.

Scott and I go together like "peanut butter and chocolate" - or that was at least what our team thought. They presented us with lots of Reese's Cups. Scott is the chocolate - I'm the peanut butter. Together, we shared a magical moment, and I left the stage feeling gratitude. The audience was the real teacher. And all the learning of the day was wrapped inside their stories.

About Dr. Michael Burcham

Michael is an executive coach, entrepreneur, investor, and strategist with 30 years of experience leading investor-backed, high-growth organizations.

“I built and sold a $40M company with Dr. Burcham as my mentor. This is the thing: if you EVER get the opportunity to learn from this man, from that moment forward, you’ll list him as one of the most influential people in your life, even if you live to be 90. And, you’ll know how lucky you were to have that opportunity and you’ll immediately say YES to any chance to be in his presence again—his wisdom is that impactful.”

Sherry Stewart Deutschmann

Former CEO, Letter Logic

“If you are looking for a trusted mentor and coach for yourself or your leadership team, I highly recommend Michael Burcham. He has worked with me as my executive coach for well over a decade now. Our conversations and his feedback have helped me sharpen my critical thinking skills. He’s a trusted advisor that I can confidentially speak with about any issue—and I know I’ll get valued feedback. I highly recommend him.”

Ryan McGrath

CEO, Asset Living

“Dr. Burcham’s depth and breadth of experience makes even the most ADD entrepreneurial leader sit up and take notes! His coaching skills bring out the ‘best you’ possible. He selflessly shares the good, the bad, and the ugly—leaving you with an authentic and moving experience sure to spur action and professional growth!”

Julie Lenzer

Director, U.S. Department of Commerce


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