Heal enters the marketplace with the goal of helping people
emerge healthy from cancer. It provides its readers an inspirational
magazine that gives its readers a blueprint for regaining
peace in life. It also gives much needed information and guidance
to people suffering from cancer.
It is unfortunate that cancer cases are growing across the
country. Articles on health insurance, vitamins for prevention,
and survivor stories give potential consumers the kind of
content they need to make it through their cancer experience
with a healthy mind, body and soul.
Heal and its sister publication Cure are working to make newsstands
and the world a healthier place. This is the type of magazines
that actually brings a ray of hope for the mission of magazines
to educate, inform and connect with their readers.
1. What do you consider the single most important achievement your magazine has accomplished in today’s marketplace?
The fact that Heal provides a unique (and much-needed) voice amid a cacophony of health magazines. Before Heal, no magazine targeted all of the nation’s 10.5 million cancer survivors and their family members, a demographic only recently acknowledged as having specific and multiple information needs as a result of their cancer.
2. Looking back, what was the most important hurdle you were able to overcome?
Making it clear that there is a difference in cancer (as well as with many other illnesses) between being cured and being healed, the former being a physical state and the latter an emotional and spiritual one. Furthermore, each state (cured or healed) can be achieved without the other. To be well is to be cured, but to be whole is to be healed.
3. What was the most pleasant surprise?
Learning just how directly and intimately we connect with readers. An example: Just before Heal launched, our sister magazine, CURE, heard from a young cancer survivor who had been told that her diagnosis of chronic myelogenous leukemia meant she could never have children. She was looking for information about other young women with her type of leukemia who’d had a child. The managing editor was able to tell her that our cover feature about to appear in Heal’s premiere issue was an inspiring story about a woman who did just that. Time and time again, we’ve been reminded that we make a real and tangible difference in the lives of people who’ve had cancer.
4. What is the biggest challenge you are facing today?
There is an assumption by many, including the news and entertainment media, that someone with cancer stops living. Our challenge is to show that the millions who continue on after facing cancer are living life to the fullest through the prism of cancer survivorship. This may mean numerous unique challenges for some and only a few challenges for others. But most revel in a new appreciation for life, and they — along with their caregivers, family and friends — want a roadmap to show them how to stay healthy on their journey after cancer treatment ends.
5. Imagine you have a magic wand and you can strike the magazine and make it human? Describe that human being.
Actually, we’ve done this in creating a My Space profile for Heal, who in that realm is a 46-year-old Virgo woman. (Incidentally, she has made quite a few friends there). But to extend that description, and add a little bit of wishful thinking, Heal would be androgynous – to represent survivors of all cancers. Our Heal person would be a seeker of knowledge and wisdom, perhaps wounded but not bowed by a life-threatening disease, who wishes to seize every day and to follow a rich and textured path on his or her journey of life.
6. The number of new magazine launches has been on a steady increase. What advice do you offer to someone wanting to start a new magazine?
Clear your personal calendar for at least a year. Then devise a product that doesn’t just fill readers’ heads, but lingers in their hearts.
7. Finish this sentence: in 2011 your magazine will be…
the essential guide to cancer survivorship for every American who has experienced cancer and his or her family and friends. They have heard the words “You have cancer,” endured treatment and its fallout, and then wondered, “Now what?”