Any cancer, any stage, YACC’s got your back. It’s our mantra and written right into our mission.
We say “any cancer” because, unlike the cancer system, YACC doesn’t split us up based on where the cancer is in our bodies. Young adults shouldn’t be isolated from those whose hearts and minds are aligned with our own. Having blue eyes doesn’t mean you have the same needs and dreams as someone else with a set of baby blues; having cancer and navigating fertility, workplace fatigue, and financial independence at 27 definitely looks a lot different than it does to someone facing cancer at 72.
We say “any stage” because we’ve met people within days of diagnosis, before any treatment, during treatment, right after it’s “all over,” and years after they realized it wasn’t. They come halfway across the country to connect after years of remission, and within days of the ends of their lives. We even work with their spouses, siblings, and best friends. This community has something to offer any young adult who’s open to it.
And we’ve got their backs. YACC is the all-you-can-eat buffet of anti-cancer awesomeness. We’ve got your laughter, support, growth, faith, hope, bravery, and badassness. We’re your soul sisters and brothers from other mothers. We are dialed-in digitally 24/7, and we connect face-to-face socially and locally and for retreats and adventures. Survivor Conference reunites YACCers annually like a family reunion. (Just ask Travis; he’s hit almost every one of them!)
All of that will be on my mind at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 27, 2015, but I’ll also be thinking about those young adults who make up the YACC community, including my buddy, Jody Mason.
Jody was diagnosed with bowel cancer when he was 32. Shortly thereafter, he met an awesome lady, Cavell, who couldn’t resist the wit and charm of our “eternal optimist.”
Jody’s cancer came back, in different places, and it’s stage IV. There is no stage V. He will be on chemo for the rest of his life. He’ll find support from the YACC community for as long as he wants it, and he’ll help his cancer buddies through their shit, too. His lung capacity will keep him from joining me as I climb up Signal Hill on Sunday, but Cavell and I—along with hundreds of others across North America—will tackle it in his honour.
We are climbing for YACCers like Jody and the 49,000 other young adults dealing with cancer who don’t know the power YACC—yet. Fundraising events like the Climb power YACC’s programs; there is no connection, no transformation without them. And we’d love to have you join us.
If you can’t Climb Signal Hill on Sunday, climb something, and send a little energy to Jody and his YACC brothers and sisters. We’re using #YACCclimb2015, for the record.
Live life. Love life.
Hit up youngadultcancer.ca/climb for more info!