There are a small but growing number of websites created specifically
for young adults and adolescents-teens with cancer.
If you're in
one of these age groups and you've been diagnosed with cancer,
I suggest making the website of the I'm Too Young For This! Cancer
one of your first ports of call, exploring the site, and checking out
their comprehensive list of other cancer-related internet resources for
adolescents-teens and young adults. Look for the heading "Support
on the home page: "The channels below will connect you with hundreds of
age-appropriate resources and open the door to socially network with
thousands of young adult survivors and caregivers".
I'm Too Young
also has a presence
on several social newtworking websites including Facebook at www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2255009406
and Myspace at
The Foundation and website is the creation of concert pianist and
composer Matthew Zachary who at the age of 21 was diagnosed with brain
cancer. Not only has he continued his musical career since his
but he's turned some of his creative energies to developing the I'm Too
Young For This! Foundation and website as a "...survivor-led advocacy,
support and research organization working exclusively on behalf of
and care providers under the age of 40".
Here's an estimate given on the I'm Too Young For This!
of the numbers of people in the adolescents-teens and young adult age
groups affected by cancer in the USA alone. You can multiply these
by twenty to get an idea of the numbers for the entire planet. "...
there are (in the US) in excess of 1,000,000 young adults aged 15-39
currently living with through and beyond their cancer diagnosis and
treatment. This statistic also includes long-term survivors of
childhood cancer. Furthermore, if you add adults over 39 who were
diagnosed as young adults or , we're looking at nearly two million
people. ... But wait! There's more! Survivorship is not just about the
patient! Caregivers matter, too! So, if you now account for young adult
spouses, siblings, children and parents, we're pretty much talking
eight figures of people (>10,000,000)."
So if you're in the adolescents-teens or young adult age
and you've been diagnosed with cancer at some time in your life, you
Realtime Cancer at www.realtimecancer.org is a
Canadian organisation and website for young adults involved with
It was established in 2000 by Geoff Eaton who was diagnosed in 1998 at
age 22 with leukemia.
Among the resources on the website there are many survivor
and supporter profiles or stories, a forum, news and articles, and a
list of the different support groups in Canada specifically focused on
young adults (look for the thread in their forum titled "Local Young
Adult Support Groups!"). They also run a public education program.
There's plenty on their website that will be of interest to
adults with cancer wherever you live in the world, and to those
to improve services and support for young adults with cancer.
created a comprehensive website called the Pediatric Oncology Resource
Center at www.acor.org/ped-onc, for
parents, friends, and families of children who have or had childhood
cancer. There's a wealth of information on her site, including an
annotated list of links to many teen and some young adult web sites and
support groups on this webpage www.acor.org/ped-onc/cfissues/teens.html.
Planet Cancer is a
and website for young adults with cancer. It was founded in 1995 by
Adams, Robin Blue and Paul Cox
all wrestling with cancer in their twenties at the time. The Planet Cancer website at www.planetcancer.org
mixes irreverance and humour with support including forums and
chat, information and
retreats, and social networking.
Reducing the isolation many young
adults with cancer feel is a key aspect of Planet Cancer's
provide information on various ways for young adults with cancer to
connect with each other, including:
"A clearinghouse for
[list of] young
adult groups around the country [USA], including official support
camps and more informal gatherings. Let us know about your local group,
so that we can spread the word to others in your area" ...
... a list of "Camps around the country that hold sessions specifically
for young adults with cancer. Some of these are provided free of cost
to cancer survivors and their families" ...
... "if you're looking to connect with
cancer survivor on a more personal basis than you could online or in a
support group ... Several matching services exist for young adults
through cancer who would like to meet or talk to someone else who has
a similar experience. If you want to get REALLY personal there's also
online dating community!".
Planet Cancer has recently added a valuable new resource
to be popular - a social networking site for young adults with cancer at http://myplanet.planetcancer.org.
Members can join groups or form their own groups, share photos and
participate in the forums and chat, and run their own blogs. Planet
Cancer also has a presence on Facebook at www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=4614089667.
If you explore the websites I've described
above, including their links and resources pages, you'll find a variety
of other websites and resources relevant to adolescents-teens
and young adults with cancer.
you know of any other groups
supporting and advocating specifically
young adults with cancer, please send me details to
And if you'd like to contribute in any way to the development of treatment and
services, information and advocacy for young adults with cancer, just go to the abovementioned websites and you'll find invitations to
on most of them.
Everest, Adelaide, Australia.
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