At some point in your life, you may have overheard or told by someone that you didn’t have any rhythm. Maybe you were dancing or air drumming, or just tapping your foot along to your favorite song. Those words probably threw you off, and you realized how your heart hurt at hearing them; your heart, the center of your emotions and the center of your body. Suddenly, that rhythm you had, even if not perfect, became scattered… floating around in your awareness, with the memory of those words punctuating every beat you missed. Now, imagine, stepping into a drum circle where your scattered beat eventually becomes as regular and STRONG as you felt it was originally. Through the power of drumming with a community, you collected those free-roaming beats, fortified yourself with community acceptance, and found out that younot only have rhythm, but, you have triumphed.
This is the ninth year of drumSTRONG, an organization that gives drumming a place in the fight against cancer. Founded by Scott L. Swimmer, drumSTRONG is a valuable resource of advocacy, information and encouragement for anyone who has been touched by the disease. The organization may be best known, however, for its annual drumSTRONG “main event” – the record-breaking drum circle that joins communities together across the globe to raise money and support for those affected by cancer.
The power of drumming is not in the volume of the drum, but in the awareness of the rhythm that connects us all. This rhythm is our pulse, our heartbeat, and when one of us is facing cancer, that connection implies we are all facing cancer… and we have the tools to BEAT it. How? Because drumming is communication. Drumming brings awareness. Drumming is connection with a local community, and as drumSTRONG shows, it is a connection with a global community.
Discovering a cure or even an effective treatment for cancer is an ongoing battle for the medical world, not to mention the families who are affected by any form of the disease. When cancer is diagnosed, there are feelings of hopelessness and fears of the unknown; we’ve all heard stories of triumph and those of tragedy, or we’ve experienced them in our own battles against the disease. Still, with knowledge comes power, and the strength to beat the odds against a pervasive enemy – especially when you add in hours of drumming. Since 2001,studies have shown how drumming increases cancer-fighting cells in the body, as well as the the overall benefits of drumming and music therapy for cancer patients.
One in three women, and one in two men, will face cancer at some point in their lives, regardless of age, finances, ethnicity or any other factors. Much like warriors in the past, drumSTRONG is sending a loud and clear message to cancer that it needs to get out of the way, and let the healing begin.