Welcome to a new series here on Lacuna Loft! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be talking about different ways of connecting with other young adult cancer survivors. Today we talk about in person events!
While finding your peers on social media and through online organizations is great…it is hard to beat the power of an in-person connection. That’s why today we’re talking about connecting with other young adult cancer survivors in the flesh! I have found that having such a strong similarity (like young adult cancer), immediately breaks down so many of those barriers that we usually experience when meeting people for the first time. Intimate conversations happen right off the bat and real connections are made. Today we’ll talk briefly about some of the places where connecting with other young adult cancer survivors is made easy. If we missed some though…let us know!
CancerCon…the new iteration of what used to be called the OMG Cancer Summit for Young Adults, CancerCon is the premier place to meet hundreds of other young adult cancer survivors and caregivers. Panel discussions deal with hot topics of young adult cancer survivorship and caregiving. Plus, there are planned activities galore to get everyone together and talking. Lacuna Loft is going this year! Are you?
CriticalMass Annual Conference…while this conference is focused on building ties between organizations, institutions, and individuals, there is no better place to connect with others who are passionate about helping young adults with cancer. Lacuna Loft was in attendance at this past year’s conference and we are really looking forward to the next one. Sessions include information about advocacy, healthcare changes, research, and more. Planned activities bring together people with all backgrounds, dedicated to reshaping how we care for young adults with cancer and their caregivers.
Team In Training…this group raises money for blood cancer research through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. They do this by registering athletes committed to running, walking, hiking, or cycling while fundraising along the way. TNT helps train you and sets you up with an online fundraising website. The plus though? While anyone can sign up with TNT, many of their alumni are fellow young adult cancer survivors and caregivers.
Young Survival Coalition…this organization is meant solely for young women affected by breast cancer. They have regionally set up groups as well as a national conference, bringing together young women from all over the country.
Stupid Cancer meetups…these are local events hosted by anyone in the StupidCancer (young adult) community, wanting to connect with others in their young-adult-cancer-having-tribe. Stupid Cancer helps you publicize, sends you swag, and answers any questions that you might have about setting up your meetup. Lacuna Loft is currently partnering with a local Young Survival Coalition group to set one up in central Illinois!
True North Treks…can you imagine going on a wilderness trek with other young adult cancer survivors or caregivers? That is exactly what True North Treks does. Finding your new true north can be a lonely and difficult experience but finding it with other young adult cancer survivors in the backcountry can be a rewarding experience.
We also have to mention that there are a number of regional, locally sponsored meet ups and events throughout the country for cancer survivors and caregivers. While not all of them are young adult specific, check out your local hospital or cancer resource center to find out more!
We’ve said it before and we will continue to stress that connecting with other young adult cancer survivors is a very powerful experience. Knowing that you aren’t alone is a big deal…being able to share your good times and bad times with those who truly understand adds that extra bit of control to an otherwise frightening and out of control experience. Find your tribe!
How have you met other young adult cancer survivors? Have you attended any of these in person events before?