I’ve searched the far corners of the young adult cancer world. If pressed to crown a queen, I’d place the tiara firmly on Heidi Adam’s head. She’s the founding director of Planet Cancer. When Heidi speaks, people should listen. So listen up to what she wrote today:
“Yesterday I attended a meeting sponsored by the LIVESTRONG Young Adult Alliance to take a first stab at drafting guidelines or standards for institutions wanting to launch Adolescent/Young Adult Oncology programs. Now I want to ask you: WHAT DO YOU THINK AN AYA PROGRAM ABSOLUTELY HAS TO HAVE TO REALLY MEET THE NEEDS OF YOUNG ADULT PATIENTS? Bring it on–from the smallest detail to the biggest concept, give me your wish list for an AYA program so we can make it happen!”
Thank you Heidi. My motto as of late is “quit bitching and start thinking.” Think about where you have been left high and dry by the cancer community or your medical institutions. Translate them into truly useful suggestions for Heidi and leave a comment below.
What changes need to happen? Where did you want support but did not find it (childcare, financial, health insurance navigation, access to clinical trials, a place to study or work at the hospital, info about fertility and sex)? How could your cancer experience have been made easier? What programs have you participated in or services have you received that were fantastic and you think should be replicated?