YACC remembers

April 20, 2015

By Karine Chalifour, program director


For the last few years, YACC has organized a walk during the Survivor Conference to honour the 7,000 young adults diagnosed with cancer every year in Canada. It was called “the Climb” and “7k for 7k,” and we walked to celebrate being able to do a little or a lot, and to remember those who couldn’t walk with us anymore. This year, the walk is not happening. A long list of logistical challenges made it impossible, but we have a new plan.

For a while now, we have been looking for a simple way to allow the entire YACC family to take part in an “in memoriam” ritual across Canada. We want it to be something that is available to everyone, and not just for those who are able to attend the conference each year. It should be something we could all do at the same time, from wherever we are, and with whatever physical capacity we have to connect with the memory of those we love, and those we lost.

At 3 p.m. EDT on April 25, 2015, we will stop and have a minute of silence. Actually, every year, on the last Saturday of April, we will make time for a minute of silence to remember and reconnect. This will become YACC’s annual ritual aimed to unite, to celebrate, to pause, to be sad, to be mad, to feel grateful, and to remember together.

Sadly, we have lost many friends and family members over the years. It is the catch-22 of being part of this amazing community. We gain so much from being connected and making friends who totally get it, but by doing so, we risk losing some of them. I still think having the chance to know them, meet them, and learn from them surpasses the sadness of losing them — but it still sucks.

Some of you will be at work, others will be with your family, others will be out and about. All you will need is one minute. How you chose to spend that minute on that day belongs to you. If you want to get together with a few friends, give ’r. if you prefer to go at it alone, that’s all good as well. Heck, if you want to take 1,440 minutes, go for it. It is not about the time spent, it is about what it means to you.

I will personally spend that minute on the top of Signal Hill. It will make me feel closer to all of you. I might take a picture and share it, or not. I haven’t figured it out yet, and that’s fine. This minute/hour/day is yours, but for 60 seconds, my heart will be connected to all of you. I will fuel up with your love and energy and get ready for what’s to come. I won’t judge how I do it or how it makes me feel, I will just let this time be what it needs to be.

I invite you to do the same.


If you do want to share a photo of your minute, remember to use #YACCRemembers so we can look for it!

If you need to chat, you can connect with me and we will set a time to get in touch. Just send an email with a phone number and time to reach you, and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.


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