As one with cancer, I have spent many days receiving chemotherapy treatments at the Day Hospital at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. In what I view as an irony, poison is injected into me so that I might live.
When I receive these treatments, I see many of the other cancer patients in the Day Hospital that day also receiving potentially life-saving chemo. Invariably, I see that a larger than I would have expected number of these folks are young adults. I am saddened when I see men and women fighting this disease in their initial years of adulthood. I wonder to what extent these strong individuals are cheated of the joy, spontaneity, and exploration of life associated with that age.
I have had the pleasure in the last eight years to get to know a young woman, Anna, who is a cancer survivor. Anna and my youngest daughter, Jenna, are good friends and each lives in Brooklyn. Anna works tirelessly to improve the lives of cancer patients and survivors. She will never forget the fight she once had. That fight fuels her desire to help others.
One of the organizations with which Anna has at least some level of involvement is Stupid Cancer. As its website, stupidcancer.org, explains, the organization is involved in patient advocacy for young adults who have or have had this horrible disease and serves as the “bullhorn” for the “young adult cancer movement.” Its need is huge. Its website notes that each year over 72,000 young adults here the words, “I am sorry, but you have cancer.”
The organization’s website is full of information – for the public generally and for young adults in particular. It has a guide to many cancer related organizations that serve as helpful resources for those with this “stupid” disease. The website is worth accessing. Moreover, the Stupid Cancer Classic Shirt offered in its online store is a good one. I have one.
Stupid Cancer is a good organization that serves a growing need. Please support it to allow it to support young adults who are fighting a battle they did not choose to fight. At least take a look at its website.