Young adults, a largely unknown group in the war on cancer, account for 72,000 new diagnoses each year. That's one every eight minutes. Young adults (including long-term survivors of childhood cancer) are an underserved age group by way of their sheer isolation and lack of connection to age-appropriate programs, peers and support resources that restore dignity and connect them to relevant tools to get busy living. Various reasons and circumstances can cause young adults diagnosed with cancer to feel isolated or unsupported. The OMG! Summit helps those young adults to find other people just like them in a weekend of healing, education and community.
In my 30's, I'd been dealing with some reoccurring 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, butfew months later, I was still reeling from everything that 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. And now I’ve found an organization to participate in and support with others who understand and went through exactly the same thing.
The OMG! Cancer Summit is the premier oncology conference and social networking event for the young adult cancer movement. The signature program of Stupid Cancer, the OMG! Cancer Summit, now in its 7th year, has become a pivotal healthcare event, converging several key industry sectors and mobilize thousands of patients, survivor and caregivers around the world to get organized, build community and unite to drive change.
Stupid cancer. Survivors rule.
Here is what participants have said about this event in the past:
“I had the single most memorable time of my life at the OMG! Cancer Summit. Thank you so much for changing my life.”
“There are no words to adequately describe how amazing it is to be in a room filled with hundreds of other people who ‘get it.’”
“The OMG! Summit taught me to keep fighting, be my own advocate and never give up, no matter what the doctor says.”