Young Adult Cancer Awareness Continues: 6 Things You Can Do

In Blog by Critical Mass3 Comments

National Young Adult Cancer Week 2015 is over, but the work continues. It was an amazing reminder of the strength of our community and the dedication and passion of everyone who cares about the issues of young adults with cancer.

Thanks to all of you who led, participated in and contributed to the conversation!  Huge props to our bloggers: Terry Wilcox from Vital Options International; Monica Bryant from Triage Cancer; Sam Watson from the SAMFund for Young Adults With Cancer; Matthew Zachary from Stupid Cancer; Beth Fairchild, metastatic cancer advocate; and Emily Eargle from the LIVESTRONG Foundation.

Thanks also to Young Invincibles and the Young Adult Program at Dana Farber Cancer Institute for hosting lively Twitter chats during the week about, respectively, economic issues and living with metastatic cancer—the candid and thoughtful comments will stay with me for a long time.

And our gratitude to the unsung heroes: Mike Threadgould at the LIVESTRONG Foundation and our own Justin Ozuna here at Critical Mass, who masterminded and drove the social media engines all week. We especially want to thank the LIVESTRONG Foundation for hosting our social media toolkit, which made it easy for folks to grab and share content.

National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week is about recognition. It’s about recognizing that young adult cancer is a real issue that really needs our attention. But just because the week is over doesn’t mean the work is done, and, if we think it is, then this whole “awareness week” thing has been for naught.

The real work continues the other 51 weeks of the year.  Now’s the time to join forces, to reach out and connect, to strengthen the community.

How, you ask?

  1.       Share Mission Control with your network so that no young adult with cancer will miss out on the amazing programs, services and resources that are available to them.
  2.      Find the great young adult organizations and champions working in your own community and offer your support.
  3.      Join us on Facebook and Twitter to share your own insights, wisdom, and stories with the community and to spread information and resources within your own network.
  4.      Keep the conversation going. Talk to your oncologist if you have cancer. Talk to your primary care physician if you don’t. Tell her that young adult cancer is important to you because it’s important to all of us. Talk to your friends and family. Silence is our enemy.
  5.      Join and other sites that post about young adult cancer to stay informed or sign up for our digital newsletter.
  6.      If you work in the field, join us in Chicago at the 2015 Critical Mass annual meeting from November 4-6.

It’s as insanely simple as it is difficult. We have to keep young adults in the front of our minds when it comes to all things cancer. We have to work together on every front. And we have to keep moving forward even when National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week is far behind us.

President/CEO of Critical Mass Heidi Adams

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