IA friend and VP of the I’m Too Young for This Cancer Foundation, Jack Bouffard, reps IA to the maxx on Halloween, dressing up as our founder at the 2nd Annual Stupid Cancer Halloween Scaretacular Costume Ball in NYC. Well played, Jack!
This past weekend the IA crew attended the 3rd Annual OMG Summit, sponsored by I’m Too Young For This! Foundation for young adults (one of our advocacy partners).
The summit aimed to bring together advocates from all over the country for a mindshare around topics such as social media advocacy, oncofertility, employment/insurance and more. Panelists included Jonny Imerman, Brad Ludden (First Descents), Matthew Zachary and Jack Bouffard (iy), Adam Ostrom (Editor of mashable.com), as well as representatives of several additional charities, health care providers and writers.
Through this networking event, we were able to register new survivors who can now share their knowledge and experience with others who are fighting a similar battle. As young adults are the most underrepresented demographic in the cancer community, this is a huge win!
For more information, follow this link to the offical website.
Zac Efron has more to offer than just nationally recognized hair-to-die-for: he’s leveraging his popularity with the young adult population to raise awareness for cancer.
According to our friends at I’m Too Young For This (iy), a national cancer charity that specifically targets young adults, Zac’s goal is to sell 50,000 wristbands and elevate the cause of ‘cancer under 40′ even further into the national spotlight.
“Zac Gives Back” is a photo competition on twitter in support of his cousin Emily and iy. To compete, purchase a wrist band and organize the largest crowd that you can of people giving cancer the middle finger.
The Cancer Lifestyle
By Matthew Zachary
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Food For Thought.
I saw a huge billboard in NYC advertising for this website
Instead of ‘how a bill becomes a law’ I kept exploring the whole idea of
‘how a death sentence becomes a chronic condition’, not focusing on ‘why’
(public policy, medicine, prevention) but rather focusing, specifically, on
‘what next?’, i.e. the aftermath of social and cultural change that follows.
When a disease transforms from death sentence to chronic condition, does
this represent a tipping point for social change, fostering the genesis of
an entirely new, underserved demographic whose lifestyle and psychographic
behaviors hold the key to better serving their unique socioeconomic,
political and cultural needs through the balance of their extended
Does the early identification of this emerging population constitute fertile
opportunity for innovative ventures in social entrepreneurship that can
effectively address and identify these unique needs though moral and ethical
exploration both social (market research) and clinical (population science)?
Example: Diabetes and HIV were once a death sentence. Today they are chronic
conditions [in the US] which have been culturally desensitized and socially
destigmatized into the mainstream. The focus is no longer specifically our
favorite word ‘cure’ because death and suffering have, more or less, been
marginalized to the best extent that can be.
Progress not cure has yielded the need for MyHIVLife.com.
After all, “Living with it” is better than the alternative, right?
Is cancer in the United States following a similar trend?
I know it is. It already has.
Many doctors currently shy away from the word ‘cure’ even though it’s an
acknowledged scientific term with a Webster’s definition. It’s about
“survivorship” now, the quality and not necessarily quantity of your
How many “MyHIVLife.com”-type websites are there for cancer these days?
They’re popping up every day, raising public awareness, discussing the
‘lifestyle’ of what vigilant self-advocacy we as survivors must undertake
simply by living with, through and, hopefully, beyond our diagnosis.
And the word “beyond” is even losing meaning. Being told “you’re cured” is
not the end of story and, as too many already know, cancer can be the gift
that keeps on giving.
So the “survivorship” is the cancer lifestyle. What does it mean to be a
cancer patient? A suvivor? A caregiver? Especially if you’re under 40?
But that’s a whole other rant.
Food for thought.
Matthew Zachary is the Founder and CEO of I’m Too Young for This, the nation’s leading grassroots advocate for the next generation of cancer survivors and their caregivers in their late teens, 20s and 30s. A TIME Magazine Best 50 Website for 2007, they have helped bring the cause of ‘cancer under 40′ to the national spotlight and rallied a brand new generation of activists to ensure prompt detection, advocacy, research and support for this forgotten population.
JI had the opportunity to speak at several Orange County hospitals this weekend, spreading the word about our mission of 1-on-1 cancer support to of City of Hope Hospital, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, UC-Irvine Cancer Center, and the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.
Jonny visits hospitals all around the country to educate clinical staff on the service of Imerman Angels, providing information that will help cancer fighters and survivors to be connected in 1-on-1 support relationships.
City of Hope is one of forty hospitals designated by the National Cancer Institute (the government’s primary agency for cancer research and training) as a comprehensive research center. Supported by FOX Sports, they will be featured throughout the playoffs in the month of January. They were, also, recently granted $32.5 to research tumor-targeting stem cells.
The UC-Irvine Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center is also NCI designated and works closely with our friend-organization “I’m Too Young for This”, a online community for young adults fighting cancer.
The Children’s Hospital of Orange County is the 18th busiest children’s hospital in the country. They are well-known for their Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program, which “gives adolescents access to the latest opportunities for a cure, tailoring treatment specifically to their age group. CHOC offers age-appropriate, disease-appropriate treatment in an environment that allows individuals to feel comfortable and at ease.”
The Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles is an international leader in the comprehensive care of children and teens with cancer. They have several specialized programs geared towards life-after-cancer: school transition/ re-entry, life planning, group retreats for survivors and other community geared events. Read about their Hope Program.