The Facts (Part II): Organizations that Help

Michelle: Imagine you are a 20-year-old university student. Or maybe you’re 25 with a steady job, or perhaps 32 and just laid off after being with the same company for 7 years. An annual exam finds cancer and you think:

– Will I have to quit school?

– Will my meager medical insurance be enough?

– What will my girlfriend think?

– How do I even bring this up to the boy I’ve only been dating for 2 months?

– What will my boss say?

– What if I can’t get pregnant?

– Holy crap, I have midterms coming up.

– This is going to scare the bejeezus out of my parents.

– My sister is going to freak the eff out.

– What if I can’t work 40 hours a week anymore? Will my company fire me?

– Why now? I can’t afford to skip out on job interviews because of hospital tests.

– Will anyone even want to hire someone with cancer?

Young adults with cancer are a very unique group. Even the term “young adult” a state of transition into being a real Grown Up, whether it be school, career, or love life. Many at this age are still figuring things out, are newly financially independent, don’t necessarily have long-term partners or solid support networks. The student loans are still fresh. Settling down is either in the works or being purposely avoided.

Who wants to hire, or even help a 20 or 30-something with cancer in this flailing economy?

Many doctors and cancer treatment organizations are either unaware or simply don’t take the time to share information specifically catered to young adults with cancer. Thankfully, there are many wonderful resources out there that will gladly take on that important task! For example…

I’m Too Young For This was founded by young adult cancer survivors, and their mission is to aid, support, connect, and give a voice to this largely neglected community. i2y.com has a plethora of coping information exclusive to young adults with cancer, and links to both online and local support groups (there are even chapters in the UK, Canada, and Australia!).

With everything from social networking events to advocacy, peer counseling, even scholarships & financial aid, I’m Too Young for This is a great place to learn about community events and retreats, or find solace in other forms of media such as internet forums or related books and movies.

There’s also Seventy K, which especially advocates the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Bill of Rights. Check out the YouTube video about Seventy K below, or click here.

More awesome resource links:

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The Facts (Part I)

Michelle: Remember those public service announcements on TV that began in the late 80’s,  The More You Know?  The simple format of dishing out bite-sized servings of useful information continues to be revolutionary and highly effective in bringing awareness to the masses about safety, health, and world issues. The more you know, the better you can act and inform others.

To that end, it’s time for some good old fashion learnin’! Did you know:

  • Every year 70,000 young adults between the ages of 15 to 39 are diagnosed with cancer in the US.
  • In this age group the rate of  cancer survival has seen no  noticeable improvement in over 20 years.
  • The 15 -39 year old age range is referred to as Young Adult. Too old to be completely coddled, but too young to be fully independent.
  • Over the past 30 years, young adults with cancer have seen the greatest increase in cancer incidence than any other age group.
  • Young adults with cancer suffer a mortality rate of 10,000 per year in the United States.

Want to learn more? Check out these links:

Be sure to tune in next time when we’ll discuss specific organizations that help support the unique needs of the young adult cancer community.

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