YACC gets it, even when “it” isn’t cancer

September 7, 2011


I work with the best people and for the best organization ever.

You probably know that Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) is unique in the programs it provides to young adults dealing with cancer in this country. You might even know that these programs have resulted in an improved quality of life and connection to a community for survivors and supporters alike. Hopefully, you also recognize that our Program Director, Karine (among others!), does a spectacular job making sure each Retreat or Conference is even better and more effective than the last.

What you might not often consider is what those people who work at YACC are actually like. What’s the team dynamic? How’s the atmosphere? Do we all get along?

My answer is a resounding YES. Am I biased? Maybe. But recent events have really solidified how I feel and I wanted to share it.

There is no doubt that each of us individual employees is as unique as the organization itself. In fact, we’re all very, very different from one another. And while this may cause temporary miscommunications from time to time as it would with any closely-knit group, the great thing is that we happen to all share the common qualities of understanding and compassion, and I can tell you that without a doubt this extends beyond the job description and into each of our personal lives, even developing into strong friendships.

The truth is, everyone at YACC is as supportive of each other as they are of those we help through our programs. The YACC family is really one I think we all feel proud to be a part of, and for my part, I have to say I also feel extremely privileged and grateful for what it has done for me personally.

I am not a cancer survivor. In fact, I am one of the rare ones lucky enough to say that very few of my friends and family members have ever been affected with this disease. Being part of a growing charity does come with its own challenges, however, which haven’t always been easy obstacles for me to tackle, especially due to some recent personal and other health difficulties I was experiencing. But YACC supported me throughout my struggles, in a big way, just as it would for anyone in the family, be it survivor or employee.

The warmth and openness with which we all go about our duties every day (well, almost every day!) allowed me to feel comfortable and safe enough to open up, share, ask for help, learn, and start to heal. My motivation to continue doing so has also grown as I now feel a desire to give back however I can, just as a survivor who completed a program might want to give back.

I wouldn’t dream of comparing my experience with anyone else’s, cancer or not. Nonetheless, I felt it was important to express the genuineness with which YACC, and everyone at YACC, strives to bring to every event, every issue, and every conversation, program-related or not.

Thank you YACC, for being you, and for helping me grow. May we have many more years together helping others do the same!

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