The Big Cancer Hook-up!

Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) wants to hold national events to bring people together whenever possible, and we are very excited to host the fourth annual Big Cancer Hook-up on January 28, 2017! The Big Cancer Hook-up is a national event providing opportunities for young adult cancer survivors and supporters to get together in their local communities and connect, reconnect, be inspired, and have fun.

Three-hundred and eighty three young adult cancer patients, survivors, supporters, and caregivers to tuned in for another awesome event! We broadcasted live to computers, tablets, cell phones all over the country, and to projectors set up in 12 host cities including St. John’s, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, and Kamploops!

Click here to watch the full show!

 

2017 Guests

SUSAN RALPH

Home town: Port de Grave, NL

Susan was diagnosed with triple negative metaplastic breast cancer at age 34 and has since completed treatment. She says she found it difficult to raise her daughters while undergoing treatment, balance her budget while she couldn’t work, and readjust to life in her 30s after facing the end of her life as she was just getting started.

Susan has attended the 2016 Big Cancer Hook-up, Retreat Yourself, several Localife St. John’s events, and has completed a survivor profile for youngadultcancer.ca.

What are your words of wisdom/favourite quote? 
“Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” – Unknown

Which superpower would you like to have? 
I would like to be able to fly. It would make it so much easier for getting around.

What was your favourite/most memorable project/event/experience at YACC? 
Survivor Conference was my favourite event to date. It was amazing to meet so many wonderful people who could relate to what I’m going through, and I got to make some real connections that I still maintain today.

 

THA’ER SHAKHSHIR

Home town: Palestine/Nablus.

Tha’er was diagnosed with anaplastic oligodendroglioma in November 2015, and is now in remission. He says it was really difficult to manage being a full-time student and to be so far from home while dealing with his diagnosis.

Since getting involved with YACC earlier last year, Tha’er attended Survivor Conference, The Climb, and Retreat Yourself BC, and says he found those experiences to all be equally memorable.

What are your words of wisdom/favourite quote?
“Cancer may have started the fight, but I will finish it.”

Which superpower would you like to have?
Social power.

What are people always surprised to learn about you?
That I’m so chill and relaxed.

What has been your greatest achievement? 
Building friendships, knowing about others’ experiences at YACC, and getting back on my feet again.

What’s your favorite thing to do?
Sleeping, Facebooking, driving around (that is, when I was able to drive).

 

MEGAN CAMPBELL

Home town: Edmonton, AB

Megan was diagnosed with cancer when she was 25 and is still in treatment.

She is involved in Localife Edmonton, engaged with YACC’s Alumni Facebook group, and attended Retreat Yourself BC in December 2016.

What are your words of wisdom/favourite quote?
My family motto/mantra during this entire experience has been “take one day at a time.”

Cancer is unpredictable and you never know what each day will be like physically or mentally, so you have to take one day at a time. Some days will be good and some days will be bad, and that is alright. You have to try to make the most out of the good days and do what you can with them, and as far as bad days go, relax and recuperate knowing that tomorrow is another day with new promises and beginnings.

What are people always surprised to learn about you?
People are always surprised that I have terminal cancer since I look “so healthy” and I act “so happy.” What is a cancer patient supposed to look and feel like, anyway? I do my best to appear “normal” by doing things I love to do when I can, so people are initially shocked when they find out I have cancer.

Life doesn’t end when you get diagnosed, and you’re fighting for your life each and every day. I find that there is a high expectation from society that I should be in bed and stay indoors while trying to “get better.” For many months, I did that very thing and I was bored and unhappy; that isn’t living. I chose to switch things around by being active in the community and by trying my best to make the most out of each day.

What was your favourite/most memorable project/event/experience at YACC?
I love all YACC events, however, my most memorable experience with YACC has been Retreat Yourself. It was simply a breath of fresh air! It gave me a new perspective on cancer and how it impacts others in different ways, as well as motivated me to become more involved in the cancer community. I made new connections with incredible people that I thought would never be possible!

The retreat definitely opened my eyes, and for the first time in ages, I didn’t feel alone in the world. I also haven’t had that much fun or laughed so hard in an extremely long time! Overall the retreat made me feel like a new person with the ability to achieve anything with my heart’s desire — including kicking cancer in the ass (which is hilarious since I have ass cancer)!

 

Past events