Young adults, a largely unknown group in the war on cancer, account for 72,000 new diagnoses each year. That's one every eight minutes.
Hello, my name is Dawn Scott and in February of 1998 my life changed forever. "You have cancer"...amazing how three little words completely rocked my world. I was 20 years old, finishing my junior year of college, and on top of the world...until the diagnosis. And what a diagnosis it was: Epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EHE), an extremely rare soft-tissue sarcoma, had slowly been growing in a major vein in my chest, ultimately blocking most of the blood flow to my right arm and causing mutliple blood clots. The cancer had also spread to both of my lungs. My life changed drastically from full-time student to full-time cancer patient. I traded carrying my backpack for pushing an IV pole. Surgeries and chemotherapy left me scarred and in pain, hairless and vomiting. It wasn't a pretty sight. But, thanks to my doctors, family, friends, loving community and an amazing support network of other young adults with cancer, I live to tell the story.
The scars that once caused me such pain are now daily reminders of the battle I have survived and I wear them with pride. I am not cancer-free, but I am alive and I am blessed. I was able to finish my undergrad degree, graduating with honors. After getting my degree, I went on to graduate law school and have been practicing law for the last seven plus years. I am extremely thankful for amazing resources like Stupid Cancer (aka I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation, Inc.), which provides a community of support for young adult survivors and caregivers. Each year, Stupid Cancer organizes the OMG! Cancer Summit which provides an outlet and a source of hope and community for cancer survivors, their caregivers, and the medical providers which work so hard to beat this stupid disease.
I have made it my goal to again attend the OMG! Cancer Summit and I ask for your help in fundraising for the event's goals. Let me tell you more:
Young adults (including long-term survivors of childhood cancer) are an underserved age group by way of their sheer isolation and lack of connection to age-appropriate programs, peers and support resources that restore dignity and connect them to relevant tools to get busy living. Various reasons and circumstances can cause young adults diagnosed with cancer to feel isolated or unsupported. The OMG! Summit helps those young adults to find other people just like them in a weekend of healing, education and community.
The OMG! Cancer Summit is the premier oncology conference and social networking event for the young adult cancer movement. The signature program of Stupid Cancer, the OMG! Cancer Summit, now in its 7th year, has become a pivotal healthcare event, converging several key industry sectors and mobilize thousands of patients, survivor and caregivers around the world to get organized, build community and unite to drive change.Please support my efforts to ensure that I, and hundreds of other young adult survivors like me, get the chance to attend this event and participate in a life-affirming weekend of support, education, community and hope.
This year's event is even more personal for me. At OMG2013, I met a young woman whose positive attitude and brilliant smile knocked my socks off. She became my good friend and a daily source of inspiration. She never let her cancer define her, and she taught many how to truly live, regardless of their diagnosis. That beautiful woman was named Tory Brumm-Ward, and she and her husband changed my life. Tory fought her battle against angiosarcoma with grace and humor, and though she is no longer with us on earth, I know she is smiling down from above. Each year I fundraise for Stupid Cancer and the OMG Summit because it is a fantastic organization and OMG is a life-changing event. This year, I fundraise for OMG in honor of Tory, because she epitomized what it means to "Get Busy Living". Please consider donating to this fantastic event. By contributing, you help young adults from across the nation make life-sustaining connections.
Stupid cancer. Survivors rule.
Here is what participants have said about this event in the past:
“I had the single most memorable time of my life at the OMG! Cancer Summit. Thank you so much for changing my life.”
“There are no words to adequately describe how amazing it is to be in a room filled with hundreds of other people who ‘get it.’”
“The OMG! Summit taught me to keep fighting, be my own advocate and never give up, no matter what the doctor says.”
Join our team and support our efforts to ensure that young adult survivors get the chance to attend this event and participate in a life-affirming weekend of support, education, community and hope.
Keep on keeping on...with a smile!