It’s funny how life can change so quickly. For the past few years I’ve been working seasonally making wine, traveling between the northern and southern hemispheres to do two harvests per year. Life consisted of working hard, learning new techniques, making new friends and connections, exploring the places that I found myself in each new season, and seeing what experiences and adventures I could manage in my time off. That lifestyle got put on hold this past summer when I came back from my latest job in South Africa with a strange illness. It took a while to figure out what exactly was wrong, but I was finally diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. Ewing’s is a rare form of cancer (only around 250 cases per year in the US) that can manifest in the bones or soft tissue and usually occurs in teens and young adults. I have it in my soft tissue, with a primary tumor in the groin area and metastasis to the lungs.
For the past few months life has consisted of chemo treatments every three weeks (where I spend 5 or 6 days in the hospital), blood tests, doctors appointments, occasional emergency room visits and transfusions, and lots of sitting on the couch at home with my parents. It’s annoying to be stuck here and not able to do many of my usual activities. It’s not all bad though. I’m responding well to chemo and haven’t suffered from too many side effects. I usually have one week each cycle where I’m feeling good and able to do stuff before going in for the next round of treatment. In April I’m planning to go to the OMG cancer summit for young adults. I’ve heard it’s a fantastic opportunity to get information and meet others in the same boat, and I’m trying to help them out with some fundraising . If you’re able to make a donation and/or pass on the link to this page it’s a big help. Thanks!!
STUPID CANCER wrote -
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. 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.
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.
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.”