Our Mission & Vision
To provide a safe space where young adults (ages 18-45) facing cancer can connect, cope, and thrive with one another in an online community through creativity and expression. Our vision is to end isolation among young adults facing cancer.
What We Do
Cactus Cancer Society is an innovative 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving young adult cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers, ages 18-45. We encourage, empower, and connect a diverse and growing community of YAs around the world, 24/7.
Cactus Cancer Society is the leader in online wellness and survivorship support programs and resources. We provide a full spectrum of free, ground-breaking online wellness and support programs for young adults facing cancer, enabling them to have access to the age-appropriate psychosocial survivorship support they deserve through a medium that fits their lifestyle. All of our programs and resources are delivered either directly through our website or occur via video chat in our online Cactus HQ or through Zoom and are uniquely accessible regardless of a patient’s specific diagnosis, geographic location, financial situation, or inpatient status.
We believe there are an infinite number of ways in which we can use creativity and expression as a means to make sense of our realities, to spark new thinking and problem-solving, and to reimagine what is possible for us and the future we want to live in. We also believe that creativity is an important method for courageously processing our experiences and learning to cope with the difficulties that life and cancer can bring.
We are a virtual community that doesn’t believe in borders or walls. We transcend boundaries and celebrate diversity. We believe young adults facing cancer should have access to support and resources no matter where they are or who they are. We embrace individual thought and believe connection and creation have the power to reset biases and catalyze change, allowing us to express our truths and promote belonging, understanding, and collaboration. You belong here. You matter.
Resilience & Fortitude
Like the cactus in our name and logo suggests, we believe the young adults in our community are tough; they are strong, adaptive, and resilient. We empower them to thrive in the midst of challenging situations through finding their voice and telling their story.
Unique Challenges for Young Adults & How We Help
In the cancer world, young adults are those people aged 18-39. This group experiences a variety of different challenges compared to other age groups. Young adults are just establishing careers and families, they are starting to become independent, and they are among a peer group who most likely hasn’t experienced anything like what they are going through. Receiving a cancer diagnosis at such a young age can be immensely distressing, and young adults facing cancer are at higher risk for depression, anxiety, and feelings of isolation. Cactus Cancer Society has the incredible privilege of coming into their lives at the most difficult time and providing them with connection and support through our programs.
At Cactus Cancer Society, we provide support and resources to young adult cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers in the form of wellness resources, lifestyle encouragement, and peer support community. Our programs are all online and designed to fit the needs of young adults facing cancer, no matter where or who you are.
We recently looked at the anonymous pre- and post-survey results from our Art Workshops, yoga workshop, journaling and creative writing workshops, Oodles of Thoughts workshops, and 7-week Survivorship Series. We found that participants experienced a statistically significant reduction in anxiety, depression, loneliness, and psychological distress after joining our programs.
When you’re feeling isolated and alone, head on over to our Young Adult Voices program where you can find stories and interviews from young adults, just like you, dealing with cancer. When you’re feeling like expressing yourself through writing or art, head on over to our Programs page to check out our opportunities for creative writing, journaling, art, and so much more!
Why We Changed Our Name to Cactus Cancer Society
Our new logo includes the imagery of the terrarium, which provides its own ecosystem that the organisms inside can rely upon. It shows the imagery of the cactus, one of resilience and fortitude. They thrive in the desert, the most unlikely of places, and the harshest of environments. The word, ‘society,’ demonstrates an established space.
At the Cactus Cancer Society, young adults facing cancer can breathe easier within our virtual walls knowing that there are others here who understand what they are facing. These young adults are tough, they are strong, adaptive, and resilient. They thrive in unlikely conditions. And we are a society, a community that comes together to provide support for those facing cancer.
The Cactus Cancer Society’s new logo and visual identity are inspired by the core principle and spirit of being a pioneer in the young adult cancer survivorship space – the first to offer an online, interactive escape from the harsh realities of cancer, and an opportunity to cope through creativity and expression, where young adults facing cancer can get the support they need, no matter who they are or where they are.
Coming up with our new look and name hasn’t been easy. We spent 9 months asking questions and listening to our community. We hosted a large survey, had discussions with key members of the community individually, held small creative focus groups, and took the time to really learn what it is about our work that most stands out to to the most important among us, the young adults facing cancer whom we serve.