Dawn Scott via Crowdrise
November 15, 2011
70,000 Americans between 15-39 are diagnosed with cancer each year. That's one every eight minutes. This is not OK!
Hello, my name is Dawn Scott Bales and in February of 1998 my life changed forever. "You have cancer"...amazing how three little words completely rocked my world. I was 20 years old, finishing my junior year of college, and on top of the world...until the diagnosis. And what a diagnosis it was: Epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, an extremely rare soft-tissue sarcoma, had slowly been growing in a major vein in my chest, ultimately blocking most of the blood flow to my right arm and causing mutliple blood clots. The cancer had also spread to both of my lungs. My life changed drastically from full-time student to full-time cancer patient. I traded carrying my backpack for pushing an IV pole. Surgeries and chemotherapy left me scarred and in pain, hairless and vomiting. It wasn't a pretty sight. But, thanks to my doctors, family, friends, loving community and an amazing support network of other young adults with cancer, I live to tell the story.
The scars that once caused me such pain are now daily reminders of the battle I have survived and I wear them with pride. I am not cancer-free, but I am alive and I am blessed. I was able to finish my undergrad degree, graduating with honors. After getting my degree, I went on to graduate law school and have been practicing law for the last six years. I am extremely thankful for amazing resources like the I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation, which provides a community of support for young adult survivors and caregivers. Each year, I 2 Y organizes the OMG! Cancer Summit which provides an outlet and a source of hope and community for cancer surviovrs, their caregivers, and the medical providers which work so hard to beat this stupid disease. I have made it my goal to attend the OMG! Cancer Summit and I ask for your help in fundraising for the event's goals. Let me tell you more:
The OMG! Cancer Summit is the premiere oncology conference and social networking event for the young adult cancer movement. A program of the I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation, the OMG! Cancer Summit, now in it's 5th year, has become a pivotal healthcare event that inspires thousands of survivors, cargivers and providers—along with scores of academic, advocacy, research and support organizations—to get organized, build community and unite as one to drive change.
Please support my efforts to ensure that I, and hundreds of other young adult survivors like me, get the chance to attend this event and participate in a life-affirming weekend of support, education, community and hope.
Stupid cancer. Survivors rule.
Here are a just a few things attendees of the conference have shared:
“The OMG! Summit taught me to keep fighting, be my own advocate and never give up, no matter what the doctor says.”
"I loved meeting new people as well as seeing old friends in person who I’d only known through Facebook.”
“The OMG! Summit and the sheer enormity of our community has left me more inspired than ever."
“I made so many new connections. I can't wait to spread more awareness about young adult cancer.”
“What an amazing, life-changing and inspiring weekend.”
Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for your consideration of this amazing event.
Keep on keeping on...with a smile!