Get this: 70,000 Americans between 15-39 are diagnosed with cancer each year. That's one every eight minutes. This is not OK!
The year was 2004, I was 26 years old and Jarrud and I were married two years, in our home for one. Things seemed perfect...until I started getting weird palpitations and fluctuations in blood pressure. Things got so bad I couldn't walk half a city block without stopping to catch my breath. My doctor ran every test on my heart and found nothing. I sucked it up to stress. Early in 2005, Jarrud and I began talking about starting our family...we planned to try in the summer. In late February I found a lump in my neck. In late March I got a CT scan. On April 8, 2005 I found out I had T-cell lymphoblastic non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
I started treatment immediately with two months of intense in-patient chemotherapy, hair loss, and most devastatingly loss of my fertility. By August 9th I was told I was in remission, but with my doctor's advice I began preparing for my stem cell transplant in February 2006. Again I endured some chemotherapy, whole body irradiation, hair loss for the second time, and final realization that having a biological child would be impossible. By this point I knew how to be a patient, but I had NO IDEA how to be a survivor. That is where the I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation helped me find new strength and more importantly connect with people who "got" what I was going through.
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 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's what past participants have said about the OMG! Summit:
“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.”
Any amount will help this amazing foundation bring support to young adults affected by cancer!