Thank you 2011; Heads up 2012

Hope your 2011 has been great and that your 2012 will be your best year yet! I wouldn’t have had it any other way, at home or at work.

The reflective moments to relish success or former days of glory are fun but not frequent. Life has taught me to save time for those moments, but today has no time for reflection on the past. With YACC’s team, momentum, and plan for the future, it’s easy to understand why the future is our focus.

A few weeks ago the YACC board of directors approved a new five-year strategic plan.

You would easily identify many of the big items: growth of programs reaching many more young adults, growth of the Shave for the Brave to new markets, growth of partnerships and sponsors who believe in our work, and enhanced engagement of survivors and young adults in our work.

Anyone who follows YACC would not be surprised to see a theme of growth.

Anyone who knows the issues facing young adults with cancer and the major deficit of customized resources for this population would understand the reason for our growth.

What you likely wouldn’t know is how ambitious our plans are.

After my first transplant, my docs told me my risk for relapse would drop substantially at my two-year anniversary. I focused my energy on that anniversary; I regularly visualized “clinching the cup” at my celebration party; and on April 13, 2001, I celebrated. A few weeks later, my blood levels started to slowly drop; three months later my leukemia relapsed.

Lesson: Aim high.

I focused on my goal, put all my energy into it, and I nailed it. Better to aim high and miss than to aim low and nail it.

I’ve taken that personal lesson and applied it to YACC. Our new strategic plan aims to grow revenue by 500 per cent over the next five years to $4.4M in 2016.

Like I said, ambitious.

In July this year we opened registration for YACC’s 2011 Survivor Conference with two emails to our health partners across the country. We had 100 applications for 80 spots. We stopped promotion three months before the event. The Conference was an incredible milestone for YACC: It was our biggest support event yet.

The demand for our programs is driving our ambitious planning. Some might say we’re crazy to project that kind of growth. We are crazy about changing lives, and from my seat our plan is even more essential than ambitious. I bet the young adults who have yet to experience a YACC support event would agree with me.

Here’s to a fantastic holiday season with a little time to reflect on the wins you’ve had in 2011.

Always…
Live life.  Love life.

Geoff

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