Koko Koltai via Crowdrise
March 06, 2012
70,000 Americans between 15-39 are diagnosed with cancer each year. That's one every eight minutes and every hour a young adult loses their battle to cancer. Cancer is now the #1 disease killer in young adults. This is not OK!
When I was 20, I was living the good life. I was going to school, working, feeling great about myself. That all changed when I got a phone call from my doctor to come in immediately and to bring someone with me. That set off an alarm bell. I found out that my rountine exam had found that I had adenosquamous carcinoma of the cervix, a very rare form of cervical cancer. So rare that my doctor had not dealt with it before and that the pathologist who identified had only seen it a few times before. I was very lucky to have such a wonderful oncologist and my boyfriend (who is now my husband) was increadibly supportive. A couple surgeries later, I may not be able to have kids anymore, but I know that I will still be able to help other young adults and future young adults like me. I am currently 2 years cancer free (on my way to that 5 year goal mark) and I recently went back to college. I am finishing my degrees in Psychology and Asian American studies to hopefully graduate this Spring.
Before I had cancer, I was happy, but I was lost in life. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Since then, it may have taken me a bit, I know I want to help people. I plan on becoming a doctor. A great doctor is so important on anyone's journey through recovery (cancer or otherwise) and I know I can make a difference helping others by doing the same.
That brings me to this cause. I was lucky enough to have such a supportive partner, but not everyone is so lucky. I didn't have the support of all of my family members and I was too unsure to tell most of my friends. I didn't want everyone's view point of me to change and to be treated any differently. I felt very isolated from people my own age. It was until after I had already beaten my cancer did I find out about the "I'm too young for this" foundation. They provide a networking of other young adult survivors and those affected by cancer. And not only do they provide support online, but in person as well. They also promote education to health care individuals and those working with young adult cancer patients/survivors to make sure they can provide the best care possible.
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.
Join our team and support efforts to ensure that young adult survivors get the chance to attend this event and participate in a life-affirming weekend of support, education, community and hope.
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.”