Cactus Cancer Society (formerly Lacuna Loft) is the place to go for resources on how to deal with your new, day to day life. Young Adults are used to living busy and dynamic lives. Making room for the damper that cancer puts on this pace of life is difficult. Our founder, Mallory, went from being a busy graduate student who trained for marathons to a cancer patient taking a break from work. Answering the question, “What do I do all day now that I am sick?” can be a daunting prospect.
It is also true though, that as a young adult with cancer you probably have many medical questions. Having these resources at your fingertips when you need them is also important. See below for a list of the resources, specific to young adults, that Cactus Cancer Society thinks are top notch! This list will keep being updated so come back now and again 🙂
Young Adult Website, NonProfits, and Advocacy Groups
3 Little Birds 4 Life – a great non-profit based in St. Louis that provides wishes to young adults with cancer
Athletes 4 Cancer – A fabulous nonprofit that harnesses the healing power of the elements with the determination of the human spirit to benefit lives affected by cancer. They focus on renewing, rebuilding, and restarting lives after cancer through outdoor adventure.
Bay Area Young Survivors – The mission of the Bay Area Young Survivors (BAYS) is to break the isolation of being a young woman diagnosed before the age of 45 and living with breast cancer. We do this by providing a community built on compassion, understanding, hope, and inspiration. The women of BAYS are united by our tenacity and passion to survive this disease. In this, we provide free support group meetings, social and educational events, and a vibrant online network. Through these venues, BAYS members share information, experiences, resources and support. We currently have 385 members living in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area, all women who were diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 45. Our members are diverse, in terms of socioeconomics, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation.
Cancer.net – Information for cancer patients directly from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
The Cassie Hines Shoes Cancer Foundation – A nonprofit dedicated to helping young adults diagnosed with cancer by guiding them to peer support programs, including cancer camps, and encouraging their participation in these programs. They also provide scholarships for young adult cancer survivors and patients to attend cancer camps.
Critical Mass, The Young Adult Alliance – initially the young adult alliance of the LIVESTRONG foundation, now an independent non-profit
Elephants and Tea – the official AYA magazine offering weekly blog articles on topics relevant to AYA cancer survivors and caregivers as well as a quarterly print magazine
First Descents – provides life-changing outdoor adventures for young adults (18-39) dealing with cancer
Hope for Young Adults With Cancer – a great, St. Louis based organization with a mission to connect with young adult cancer peers 18-40, providing financial support, a social network, as well as an outlet for those dealing with cancer
the SAMFund – for Young Adult Survivors of Cancer. They supports young adult cancer survivors through direct financial assistance and free online support and education. Because #cancerisntfree
Scar Stories – a really cool non-profit based out of Australia that helps young adults see their scars from a new perspective
Sephora is proud to launch Brave Beauty in the Face of Cancer, its newest Class for Confidence. This free 90 minute class teaches soothing skincare routines and quick fix makeup tricks to help restore glow, and the appearance of brows and lashes that may be affected by cancer treatment. Bring your friends and family to join in the fun. Find a class and sign up here: https://goo.gl/bD1G3k
Stupid Cancer – a young adult focused non-profit bringing awareness to the young adult cancer community and movement
True North Treks – TRUE NORTH TREKS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that harnesses the big medicine of nature, peer support, and mindful awareness practices to help teens & young adults diagnosed with cancer get connected again after the disconnecting experience of cancer. Our participants go on free backpacking & canoeing treks to remote and beautiful backcountry wilderness destinations where they connect with nature (after going through something as unnatural as cancer treatment), connect with others who’ve been through something similar, and connect with themselves through mindfulness meditation & yoga.
Young Survival Coalition – an organisation focused on helping young women with breast cancer
Support of Children of YA Cancer Survivors Nonprofits
Help With Hope – Supporting kids whose parents have cancer, Help With Hope provides children whose parents have cancer with care packages for these children as well as sponsorships for children to attend camps specialized for children whose parents have cancer.
Children’s Treehouse Foundation – The Children’s Treehouse Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Denver, Colorado with the mission of improving psychosocial adjustment in children, ages 5 through 12, who have a parent or grandparent with cancer. The Children’s Treehouse Foundation has created a research-based, psychosocial intervention, group-support program called CLIMB® – Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery. CLIMB® helps to normalize feelings of sadness, anxiety, fear and anger for the kids and stimulates improved communication between the children and their parents. CLIMB® can be found in 53 hospitals in 25 states in the US and in 20 locations internationally. The organization also has two books written by their Founder, Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer, A Guide for Parents and Families and a children’s activity book, Talking with My Treehouse Friends About Cancer. The activity book is available in English and Spanish.
More General Website, NonProfits, and Advocacy Groups
Abridge – a free app that allows you to securely record your doctor visits, transcribes the important parts letting you easily go back to clarify details, and allows you to share these details with anyone who wasn’t able to be there with you
Bag It – Bag It offers bags to cancer patients with everything you need to navigate a cancer diagnosis
Triage Cancer – a non-profit organization that provides experts, information, and resources to survivors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals trying to navigate cancer survivorship
Fertile Hope – a national LIVESTRONG initiative that provides information and resources on reproductive health to cancer patients
Cancer + Careers – Cancer and Careers empowers and educates people with cancer to thrive in their workplace, by providing expert advice, interactive tools and educational events.
The Liz Army – A blog featuring personal stories and advocacy powerhouse, Liz on her journey through brain cancer.
Imerman Angels – a non profit that provides one on one support for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers
Jasper – Jasper helps you organize your schedule, lists, and needs for your cancer care – all in one place. Sign up on their website.
Lift Caregiving – An awesome caregiving resource
www.giveforward.com – a site dedicated to helping those individuals with medical concerns fundraise to pay for medical bills
www.myhealthsensei.com – a comprehensive list of resources for those going through cancer, fully equipped with reviews from people
Think Before You Pink – this organization leads the crusade for increased accountability and transparency in breast cancer fundraising
Puck Fink – a site dedicated to women with breastcancer, along with their loved ones and caregivers. focused on bringing the lies behind the “pink movement” to light.
The American Cancer Society – the American Cancer Society provides many services for people of all ages affected by cancer as patients or caregivers. They have a call center (1-800-227-2345) where you are connected local and national resources ranging from support groups, financial assistance, and free wigs/mastectomy products. Their database holds information on American Cancer Society services as well as information on other organizations (including Lacuna Loft!) found all around the country. More information on all of their services and programs can be found here. Young Adult specific information can be found here.
MyLifeline – this is a great resource where you can sign up for a free site to help update your family and friends with info, coordinate help (with meals, chores, or anything else), and collect funds.
CordBloodBanking.com – A charitable donor supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO). Umbilical cord blood has helped children survive over 80 diseases including Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Anemia and is now being used in older patients. Our mission is to help others understand how they can benefit and help save the lives of sick children in need. CordBloodBanking.com provides the latest up-to-date information and free resources for expecting parents. There have been over 35,000 cord blood transplants thanks to donors worldwide. With more awareness we can increase this number and further save the lives of children battling cancer and other life threatening illnesses. They now have a guide to offer step by step information at cordbloodguide.com
Women’s Cancer Resource Center – Located in Oakland, CA, the WCRC has a Young Women with Cancer Support Group currently meeting. To learn more about the group, email or call Dr. Natalie Compagni Portis at 510.531.1571 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Disease Specific NonProfits and Advocacy Groups
Mesothelioma Treatment Community – Information on palliative care, resources, and educational videos for the mesothelioma community.
Should I Shave It – a personal blog written by a dynamic young adult facing cancer
Jenny Morgan’s Blog – a self breast exam advocate talks about her journey with breast cancer as the mother of 2
Smiles for Niles – a personal account of a cancer survivor and his eating raw and green food style
Tara Beats Cancer – tales and lessons from a 34 year old mother of two who was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2012
The Good Hodgkins – chronicles of a young adult cancer survivor
Life On The Cancer Train – Warrior Megsie delivers a loving a charismatic voice through all of her cancer related blogs