Getting Out of the Silo

SiloHave you ever found yourself driving along a country road and spotting a Silo in the distance? If so, did you find yourself wondering what was inside?  Was it corn, barley, wheat, or some other grain? Was it something that might eventually end up on the table for dinner? Unless the farmer/silo owner made some effort to reveal what’s inside, the contents remained a mystery. Silos are great! They preserve their contents, keeping them fresh and ready for use. Unfortunately, if the contents never come out of the silo, they will never meet the need they were created to address.

So with your mind focused on that imagery, let’s talk about raising awareness for CML (great segue, huh?). Have you found yourself “siloed” and only talking about CML with your social media friends in topic specific groups or close family? If so, explore ways that you can take your awareness activity outside that silo.

Here are some practical tips on getting started: 

  1. Think about the who, what, and where of your day – Do you have errands, meetings, or times during the day when you’re in the presence of people who aren’t “CMLers? If so, there are numerous opportunities for “awareness moments.”
  2. Be intentional – Perhaps you have a CML T-shirt or piece of leukemia jewelry. These can be great conversation starters.
  3. Develop your “Elevator Speech – Do you have a quick and concise way of explaining what CML is and how it impacts those diagnosed?
  4. Share YOUR story –  You don’t have to reveal your deepest associations or secrets with the disease, simply share how CML is a rarer form of Leukemia and thanks to great research many people are living with the disease today.
  5. Apply the KISS Principle –  Don’t get bogged down trying to explain the intricate details of the disease. Use the opportunity to point others to reputable websites and resources that can further address their curiosities.

By doing these simple things each day, you’ll see your opportunities expand more and more.

What are some ways you promote CML awareness with people you meet? Let us know!

I hope you’ll find one of those awareness moments today!

All the best,


– Greg Stephens is the Founder and Executive Director of the National CML Society and works year-round raising awareness and addressing the impact CML can have on any family facing the diagnosis.