70,000 Americans between 15-39 are diagnosed with cancer each year. That's one every eight minutes. This is not OK!
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.
In my 30's, I'd been dealing with some reoccuring hypothyroid problems that led to the decision to have my thyroid completely removed in 2009. What was supposed to be a routine surgery and two weeks out of work changed my life.
A week after my thyroid was removed, my doctor called and told me: The biopsy came back: you have cancer. Stage 1 Hürthle cell follicular thyroid carcinoma: an uncommon type of thyroid cancer.
I was only 37 and I had cancer.
This started a roller coaster ride of doctor's instructions to follow immediately so I could have radioactive iodine treatment the next month. It all happened so quickly, and I did have the support of my family and closest friends, a few months later, I was still reeling from what had happened. I looked for local support and didn't find the perfect fit: other cancer support groups all had patients so much older than me. They cared, but didn't quite get it. They kept telling me I was lucky, I had the "easy" cancer....but I couldn't find people who could really relate to some of the emotional issues I was trying to deal with. And am still dealing with.
I may make jokes about my cancer, but that's how I deal with difficult situations: and I think cancer is right up there. The tumor may be gone, but I'll be dealing with the effects for the rest of my life. And I'm hoping that will be a long time.
Stupid cancer. Survivors rule.
“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.”