This Giving Tuesday, give the gift of connection to young adults like Nicole, who faced cancer all alone before Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC).
Your gift will be matched to double your impact! Please help and Give Now to more young adults like Nicole.
Hello my name is Nicole Clark, and I would like to share my story with you. In my early twenties, I thought my life was pretty normal — I traveled lots, partied lots, I was pretty carefree. I got married in Vegas in 2009, and then my husband got out of the military in 2010 and we moved back to the east coast from Edmonton, AB. I was working full time and pregnant with our first child.
I had a normal pregnancy, or so I thought! I was extremely tired, like falling-asleep-as-soon-as-I-sat-down tired. But being tired during pregnancy is normal, right?
I checked in with my family doctor who sent me to an E.N.T as a precaution. Two days after that appointment, I got a call from Dr. Wallace’s office saying the results came back. I don’t remember hearing much after that, everything happened so quickly.
I was 25 years young and pregnant, and now I have cancer. New mom, new wife, new resident to Nova Scotia, new homeowner, and new diagnosis. Way to throw a wrench into things, eh?
I was hooked up to chemo five days after delivering my daughter, completed treatment six months later, and then six months after that, I returned to work.
In 2014, I found out that I had relapsed. This time, I had to receive heavier chemo followed by a stem cell transplant. After this second battle, my mental health rollercoaster took off.
Being a young adult with cancer is extremely isolating. At a time when life should be just getting going, I was sitting at a standstill. I couldn’t relate to anyone my age, and the ones I could relate to about cancer were in completely different stages of life, so I couldn’t relate to them either. I thought I would never relate to anyone again — that was until I came across YACC one night while scrolling the internet looking for something, anything.
I found YACC when I was tired of struggling and was desperate to get help. The second I began reading stories from other young adults who “get it,” I immediately felt less alone. I could not believe it. I found another girl who had Hodgkin’s and had it come back and had a stem cell transplant and eight years after the transplant, also had a little boy. Finding that person through YACC did wonders for me. Since then, I have participated in various YACC programs and have connected with many other young people affected by cancer which helped enormously with my recovery.
The connections and support I have found at YACC helped me recover quicker, and because of this, I will yak about YACC to everyone I know so that the next young adult who is diagnosed with cancer finds the support they need at the beginning stages of their cancer journey and not at the end of it like I did. Thanks so much for having YACC’s back so it could have mine when I needed it most.”
Twenty-two people between the ages of 15 and 39 are diagnosed with cancer every day in Canada. On average, we’re connecting with one of them. With your help, we can reach the other 21 people like Nicole who are looking for a peer community that understands their unique challenges. With your help we will continue to connect with survivors who need our community.
The relationships and connections formed at YACC profoundly help young adults living with, through, and beyond a cancer diagnosis. We want every young adult cancer survivor in Canada to know that every cancer, every stage, YACC has their backs, but we can only make that promise because YOU have ours. Thank you.
Live life. Love life.