Tag Archive for young adults with cancer

Financial Assistance for Young Adult Cancer Survivors (Applications Due July 19)

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Common challenges facing many 20 & 30 year olds include paying off school loans, finding a job, securing health insurance and learning to live on their own.  These challenges are often compounded if there’s a history of cancer. When many young adults are finished with treatment, medical bills may have piled up, they are now too old to be on their parent’s insurance, and the debt starts spiraling out of control… but there’s help….

 

The SAM Fund provides financial assistance to young adults as they move forward with their lives after cancer.  Grants & scholarships can cover a wide range of post-treatment financial needs, including (but not limited to): current and residual medical bills, car and health insurance premiums, rent, utilities, tuition and loans, family-building expenses, gym memberships and transportation costs.  In 2011, SAM Fund awarded a total of $135,000 in grants and scholarships to 92 young adult survivors all over the country.  BTW, SAM Fund stands for Surviving And Moving Forward.  LOVE IT!

 

2013 Application Process is NOW OPEN.  Here’s how it works:

1.  Applicants must be between the ages of 17 and 39; a resident of the United States; and either finished with active treatment and free of cancer OR be one year following the completion of planned therapy OR be in remission on maintenance therapy.  If you have questions about eligibility, please email grants@thesamfund.org.

 

2.  Anyone interested in applying must first submit Part One of the application which is due by Friday, July 19th at 5:00 pm EST.  After a review period, selected applicants will then be invited to submit Part Two. Those applicants will be notified in November as to whether they have received a grant.

 

3.  Interested in learning more?

 

FREE Running Program for Cancer Survivors in MD, DC, VA

Andy & Alan 2004 Bay Bridge 10K

Andy & Alan @ Rockville Rotary Twilighter 8K Runfest 1992

 

Pictured above is Alan (on the right) with his childhood friend Andy.  Since this picture was taken, Andy has run 27 marathons, completed 5 triathlons and has become a certified running coach.  Despite all these accomplishments, Andy always made time to go for a run or walk with Alan, even after he was diagnosed with cancer.

 

Andy is now volunteering as a running coach for The Ulman Cancer Fund’s CANCER to 5K Training Program-a FREE 12-week training program designed to introduce or reintroduce cancer survivors to training for and completing a 5K road race.  Amazing, right?!

ABOUT The CANCER to 5K Training Program:

Research has now shown that exercise is especially important for cancer survivors both in and out of active treatment.  Regular exercise not only improves mood, boosts self-confidence and reduces fatigue, but there is loads of evidence suggesting that higher levels of physical activity can help keep the cancer from recurring.

The Cancer to 5K Training Program is a progressive run/walk program designed to get cancer survivors to the 5K finish line happy, healthy and injury-free.  

*  Who can join?  Young adult cancer survivors (ages 15-40) living in Maryland, DC or Northern Virginia.  Survivors who have completed treatment and survivors who are currently undergoing treatment can participate.

*  This program is limited to 10 participants per 12-week session.  Personalized training plans are created by experienced running coaches.  This is a FREE program with no fundraising commitments.

*  BEFORE starting the program, a Medical Waiver must be signed by the participant’s current primary care physician to ensure that training for a 5K won’t negatively impact  treatment or recovery.

*  Next training sessions begins on March 23, 2013.  Click on the links below for a team near you:  

Montgomery County Maryland team 

Northern VA/ Washington DC team 

Howard County team 

* If you live outside the current training areas (Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Baltimore, Montgomery County, MD and Howard County, MD), you can still participate with The CANCER to 5K “At Home” Training Program via email and phone.

 

To learn more or sign up for a team, visit www.cancerto5k.com.  And if you run into Andy at the trainings (no pun intended ;-) ), please give him a big hug from ME.

SAM Fund helps Young Adult Cancer Survivors

ATTN:  Young Adult Cancer Survivors

You’ve just beaten a diagnosis of cancer and now it’s time to get on with your life. Oh yeah!  But in addition to the common challenges facing most 20 & 30 year olds (like paying off school loans, finding a job, meeting everyday expenses, etc.), these challenges are often compounded if there’s a history of cancer. When many young adults are finished with treatment, medical bills may have piled up, they are now too old to be on their parent’s insurance, and the debt starts spiraling out of control… but there’s help….

 

The SAM Fund provides financial assistance to young adults as they move forward with their lives after cancer.  Grants & scholarships can cover a wide range of post-treatment financial needs, including (but not limited to): current and residual medical bills, car and health insurance premiums, rent, utilities, tuition and loans, family-building expenses, gym memberships and transportation costs.  In 2011, SAM Fund awarded a total of $135,000 in grants and scholarships to 92 young adult survivors all over the country.  BTW, SAM Fund stands for Surviving And Moving Forward.  LOVE IT!

 

2012 Application Process opens in June.  Here’s how it works:

1. On their website, they have an “Inquiry Survey” which will let you know if you qualify.  Applicants must be between the ages of 17 and 35, finished with active treatment and residents of the United States.  

2.  Anyone interested in applying must first submit Part One of the application (which will be posted on their website in June, 2012). After a review period, selected applicants will then be invited to submit Part Two. Those applicants will be notified in November as to whether they have received a grant.

To learn more, check out their FREE webinar called SAM Fund Grants 101.

The Stupid Cancer Show… great for young adults with cancer

I just love this button from stupidcancer.com... but I have to admit, I LOVED Alan’s crazy eyebrows (before chemo)…. but he still looked HOT without them.  I also LOVE the STUPID CANCER SHOW.

 

Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says) and here’s what Stupid Cancer Show has to say…
“70,000 young adults (15-39) are diagnosed with cancer annually; one every 8 minutes. This is not OK! Launched in 2007 with over 185 broadcasts and 700,000 listens under it’s belt, The Stupid Cancer Show is a LIVESTRONG™  award-winning international talk radio webcast giving voice to a lost generation of 5 million strong by tackling hard hitting issues from politics, health care and the environment to social media, entertainment and education. Hosted by young adult survivors Lisa Bernhard – acclaimed journalist, former Entertainment Correspondent for FOX News and former Deputy Editor of TV Guide – and i[2]y Founder/CEO Matthew Zachary, this edgy and irreverent broadcast challenges the status quo, helping young adults fight cancer every day. It’s time. It’s our time. It’s about time.”  
Check it out every Monday from 8pm- 9:30pm LIVE on blog talk radio.  It’s funny, it’s real, and it’s packed with GREAT information…

 

 

Listen to internet radio with Stupid Cancer Show on Blog Talk Radio

 

Resources for Young Adults with Cancer

I love this!

There’s a whole slew of organizations that were specifically created to help young adults with cancer (both patients & survivors).  Young adults are between the ages of 15-40.  They are too old to be treated like children & too young to be all-grown up.  Here are just a few that I’ve learned about so far…


Planet Cancer is “where young adults can share insights, explore fears, laugh & even give the finger to cancer with others” (that’s a direct quote from their site BTW) whose lives have been impacted by cancer.  This site has tons a great information & advice and it makes me laugh. I love their edgy approach to sharing information.
I also LOVE their TIPS & RESOURCES sections… there’s some really helpful info like Cancer & Fertility: What Every Guy (or Gal) Should Know and Why Healthcare Reform Will Affect Cancer Patients.


The i[2]y I’m Too Young for This! Cancer Foundation provides “a place for young adults to find resources on legal issues, insurance barriers, fertility issues, body image, wellness, and relationships”. Their website is stupidcancer.org & they are awesome!  They have a weekly radio show called the Stupid Cancer Showthat airs live every Monday @ 8pm. Check it out!  And they have great edgy shirts & stuff for purchase too.  Isn’t the CancerBird great?!?!



The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults 
strives to ensure that all young adults & families impacted by cancer have a voice & the resources necessary to thrive.  They offer patient navigation services & peer-to-peer support groups as well as resource & financial assistance as well as college scholarships.  They have a great, free, interactive Treatment Option Tool that helps patients learn about treatment options, possible side effects, questions to ask doctors, & more.

 

Fertile Hope provides reproductive info, support & hope to cancer patients & survivors whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility.  They even offer financial assistance for sperm banking, egg & embryo freezing & adoption.

 

Camps & Retreats offer another avenue for anyone touched by cancer to do something “normal”, have fun & meet others who totally get it.  There’s a great list of different camps & retreats available by state & age group on Cancer.net. My cousin went to First Descents, an outdoor adventure camp for young adults with cancer, and he said it was one of the best things he ever did!

 

SurvivorAlert offers lots of great info, links to resources & recommendations for action for young adult cancer survivors & health professionals.  Check out their Sweet Sites section which lists tons of amazing resources.

 

Check back next week for an upcoming post about $$$$ for College… there are lots of amazing college & graduate school scholarship opportunities for anyone affected by cancer.

 

If you are a young adult with cancer or know of a young adult with cancer & you know of additional resources that are helpful or have a comment on the ones I’ve listed above, please post the info.  Knowledge is Power… Share the Power… please!

Top 10 Reasons Why I LOVE First Descents Camp

 

My cousin @ First Descents

 

First Descents (FD) is an amazing outdoor adventure camp for young adults (ages 15-40) with cancer plus a whole lot more… so without further ado, here is The Top 10 Reasons Why I LOVEFirst Descents (FD):

10.  Over the past several years, our good friend Brent does an insane bike race called the Leadville 100 to help raise $$$ for First Descents. (And just to let you know, Brent and his wife (aka Stepmom) first got involved with FD because their best friend, Allan Goldberg, was a cancer survivor and became Executive Director of FD.  Allan passed away 2 years ago after being cancer-free for 25 years… and guess what kind of cancer Allan had…. yep, the same rhabdomyosarcoma as my Alan… weird right? Not even 6 degrees of separation.)

 

9.  Speaking of 6 degrees of separation, my cousin had leukemia when he was 16 and after he recovered, he went to First Descents Camp for two summers and LOVED it.  (My cousin now is 23 years old, getting ready to graduate college & begin a PhD program in the fall.  He is an amazing and inspiring survivor and I adore him.) 

 

8.  No one calls you by your first name there… instead, they give you a really cool nickname like Stepmom, Truffles, Stiletto, Masturbator, Shipwreck, Dr. P & Giggles.  (BTW, these are real nicknames of real campers.)  

7.  FD is all about the ADVENTURE not the cancer…  Of course you get to meet other people who can easily relate to what you’ve gone through (or are going through) but really, FD programs are all about having fun, getting outside & pushing your limits through kayaking, rock climbing & other cool outdoor activities. What a novel approach to traditional therapy!  

 

6.  No kayaking, river or rock climbing experience necessary.  In fact, most campers have NEVER done anything like this before.  Some don’t even know how to swim. FD will teach you everything you need to know.

 

5.  They offer one week camps from April – September throughout the country in beautiful places like Moab, UT; Mount Hood, OR; Salmon River, ID; Vail, CO; Estes Park, CO; Bryson City, NC.

 

4.   You never outgrow FD… after your 1st amazing experience, you can continue with other First Descenter’s through their new FDX Program.  FDX is for past campers who have “outgrown” their regular programs & want to “challenge” themselves on more difficult rapids & harder climbs, all with their FD family by their side.    

 

3.  It’s FREE!!!!  Yes, that’s right… it’s 100% free. 

2.  My Alan would have LOVED to have gone to a FD camp… in fact, we joked with Brent & Lisa about sneaking Alan in even though he was over-age.  

 

#1.  Their philosophy ROCKS…. “Cancer, no matter how aggressive, dormant, advanced or invasive it is, will never be stronger that you are.”  

 

For more information on this amazing, free, outdoor adventure, please visit their website at www.firstdescents.org.  If you are a First Descenter, please let us know from your perspective how it was… Knowledge is power. Share the power please!