The 2009 Survivor Conference on the Rock…rocked!

November 3, 2009

Many months ago, we started to plan our Annual Survivor Conference and tried to imagine how great it would be if we had 60 participants. Well, now we can look back and say: We did it and it was some great!

From October 22-26, 2009, Young Adult Cancer Canada held its 3rd Annual Survivor Conference at The Wilds in Salmonier River, just outside of St. John’s NL.  We were very excited to welcome our survivor family to our beautiful home province of Newfoundland and Labrador.  A total of 60 individuals (50 survivors and supporters, and 10 facilitators and staff) came from almost every province in Canada, only missing New Brunswick this time.

We were blessed to be in the presence of the beauty and inspiration that makes this group so amazing.  We shared wisdom, information, support, and even joined 300 others to climb Signal Hill for YACC’s Annual Climb.  The survivors were a diverse group at varying points in their own cancer journeys: with some still in treatment, some recent bone marrow transplant recipients, and with others out of treatment for a number of years.  All were driven by the same energy, camaraderie, and hope for their fellow survivors. Witnessing their participation in the Climb touched many of our hearts deeply and was such a beautiful expression of what survivors and supporters go through every day. It snowed, rained, was even sunny at times, but no matter what the weather was, they conquered.

Again, faced with such an intense experience, words are never enough and they rarely express the emotions that come with it, so I will leave you with some of the wisdom that came out of the Survivor Conference from the participants themselves:

Self-care is not selfish

Greater Risk, greater rewards

Focus on smaller goals to attain larger goals

Cancer does not define who we are, we make our own definition

Tough times never last, tough people do.

Direction, not intention set the destination.

 

This is just a little glimpse of what happened during those four days:  the love, the life, and the laughs were omnipresent all weekend.

Events like the Survivor Conference will not work if no one shows up, so we thank the courageous survivors and supporters for taking this leap of faith again this year. We also have to thank the wonderful facilitators that help each year with our events. We could not do this without their expertise, feedback, and support before, during, and after the Conference. To all of them a gigantic thank you!

We are already talking about next year and hopefully, we will get even more people; dare we dream 100 survivors?  ‘Til next year!

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