At our monthly team meetings, one of our crew members discusses some of our five values: strength, courage, commitment, heart, and spark (formerly trailblazing). This is Dawn’s reflection from this month’s meeting.
February 17, 2018 and I was all comfy on my couch, getting ready to watch this year’s rendition of the Big Cancer Hook-up. I watch it every year, and more than anything, I’ve laughed and been moved by this event and how wicked awesome it is, courtesy of YACC’s team and survivors. It would never happen without the combination of both teams coming together, and having Tristram and his guys on board puts it over the top.
This year I was also a little sad as I reflected on previous years and those who have been involved with the show and are no longer with us. Justin, Megan, Jody — it was an honour and a privilege to see them on camera in all their glory, and to get to know them and have them connect with YACC.
I also thought of a lot of others who have been on the show and are still super connected to YACC. I get to see them every year at our Survivor Conference, and can revel in their growth, knowing YACC has been a big part of that.
I think of Chris, and of him sitting uncomfortably with Kathy’s extension clipped in his hair. Nowadays, he’d probably rip it out of her hair and put it in. I think of Jordan who came to watch the Big Cancer Hook-up as his first YACC event, and how he started to blog after, opening up and stayed connected by attending many YACC events since then. I think of Dani and her power start talk, how nervous she was, and how now she gets up at Survivor Conference with her comedic cancer story. I think of Julie and her time on the Big Cancer Hook-up, and what a powerhouse she is, fundraising and promoting YACC. I think of Jody and those dimples and his eternally optimistic attitude. He reminds me even now to not waste the happy. These are just a few of the thousands of incidents I could share that bleed courage.
Man, these young adults are heroes to me. They have taken the shitty end of the stick called cancer and said, “Fuck you.” The courage it took for them to reach out to YACC and to get connected is wicked, but more than that, I have seen so many of them stay connected and then be in a place to help their peers.
At YACC, we define our value of courage as, “We take the right path, regardless how tough it may be. We know the pursuit of our vision will continue to call upon our courage.” We do that every single day.
Despite the upsets at times, knowing that we will love and care for and then lose some of the young adults, we do it because they are counting on us. The courage of our young adults rubs off on us and gives us courage to keep going, push it to the next level.
Our young adults connect with YACC because they know and feel it’s the right path. It’s tough as they come and they open up and often connect with others just like them and their friends sometimes die. But they keep coming back because they also believe in YACC and the power of the community.They call upon their courage and we are there to give them ours.
Together we are a mighty team!