PLANET CANCER

Rating: 5 stars   12 reviews

Issues: Cancer

Location: 314 E. Highland Mall Blvd. Ste. 306 Austin TX 78752 USA

Mission: Young adults with cancer slip into a lonely no-man’s land. Too old for the instant community of a children’s hospital, they’re still too young to be a part of the over-50 community that overwhelmingly populates adult cancer wards. Because young adults with cancer are a relatively small group, the difficulty of finding peer support is increased exponentially, forcing many to deal in isolation with issues specific to this age and stage of life: dating with cancer, disclosure to a potential employer, long-term insurance issues, moving back home, loss of fertility, or having to quit school or a newly-launched career.Planet Cancer exists so that no young adult will have to endure such isolation.  In addition, we work to raise awareness in the medical community about young adults as a distinct group with distinct needs. A greater focus on young adults, their cancers, their issues (including lack of insurance and low participation in clinical trials) and their medical needs will hopefully lead to improvement in survival rates, which have not increased one iota for this age group in 30 years.
Target demographics: 18-40 year old cancer patients and survivors.
Geographic areas served: national

2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Planet Cancer is the BOMB!! I would never have made it through all the tough times (and there still are some) after being diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer without PC! The website is wonderful. The people I've met are wonderful. The retreats are WONDERFUL!! If you're a young adult, and find youself fighting cancer, please find PLANET CANCER

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the website. My own sanity. The firends I've met.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

be psyched.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The people I've met.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

AWESOME.

Ways to make it better...

Can't think of any!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

This review is on behalf of my late husband, Mike Moore. Diagnosed in 1995 at the age of 24 with Hodgkin's Lymphoma while in the Army, Mike definitely felt isolated because of his circumstances but also because he took a different approach to cancer than others he encountered. He laughed in it's face, didn't let it consume or define him, and wasn't one to sit in a support group with people his parents' age or older. In February 2007 Mike and I were fortunate enough to attend the inaugural Planet Cancer Couples Retreat. Mike was hesitant to attend a gathering where the focus was cancer (I mean, the majority of his prior decade was spent in a hospital so I didn't blame him) but once we were there, he knew THIS was different than anything else he'd ever experienced. He instantly bonded with his fellow diagnosed, even though we didn't really talk about cancer the whole first day. There was a shorthand and deep understand they shared it and was wonderful to see him connect when, for so long, I know he felt “apart” from his peers as they continued on in their careers, growing their families, and moving through the “normal” milestones of young adulthood. Unfortunately Mike’s cancer was persistent and, after almost twelve years of constant treatment (multiple PSCTs, gallons of chemo, radiation, clinical trials…you name it), his body succumbed to a disease his spirit never gave in to. I know that if Mike were still around to experience the wonderful things Planet Cancer continues to do—from the creation of the social network MyPlanet to the advocacy initiatives bringing attention to YA oncology, the upcoming book, and especially new Top 10 lists (always his fav)—he’d be writing this review himself. My hope is that, with the spotlight Planet Cancer shines on YA issues, the perils & pitfalls unique to young adult cancer will be more readily recognized and addressed resulting in more widespread peer & facility support, an increase in successful treatment, and ultimately an improvement in the stagnant survival rates of young adults with cancer.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the faces & lives of it's participants and members.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

turn it back over to Heidi.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the space they create to laugh amongst and even because of difficult situations.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

compassionate, deeply committed, personally invested, funny, tireless, innovative, witty, and now my friends.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

ensure that no young adult felt isolated after a diagnosis with cancer in addition to furthering the vital expansion of YA oncology programs & research.

Ways to make it better...

the survival rates for young adults were improved. Mike would still be involved with the organization if he were alive.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

recognition by the larger medical & oncological community that YA Oncology issues need attention.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I've talked enough. Go check them out and experience for yourself.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

PC is the only place where I feel at home with cancer. Everyone on the site has a great understanding of so many of the things that we are going through. Living in Ireland with a rare cancer does not give me any ability to meet or have discussions with fellow fighters of Sarcoma (that is my type of cancer), but through PC I have met people with the exact same cancer, which means we have had the same chemo, same radiation, same operations. We can chat with each other, compare notes, help each other, give each other advice and guidance. There is no way of knowing what it is like to have cancer, until you have cancer. PC is the only place that everyone understands what you are going through. Cancer is not like other diseases, it cuts us deep in the core of our lives. It takes away hope and future. But being a part of PC helps me to enjoy the 'now'.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my life, I have become stronger. It has helped me to understand my cancer. It has brought me together with other Sarcoma patients. I have met only good people, with good hearts, who have shown me help and love.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

be very proud of myself. I do not think I would change things.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the fact that it is organised and run by people with cancer (or who have been effected by cancer).

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Kind, loving, caring. We all have something major in common. When someone says "I know exactly what you are going through", they actually mean it. So many people think they know cancer, but PC is the only place where that is true.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

advertise itself worldwide. Each and every cancer patient should be told about PC on the day of their diagnosis.

Ways to make it better...

I had found PC earlier in my diagnosis. I spent the first 5 months without PC, it was a lonely time for me, but when I finally found the site, the quality of my life improved through the people I met.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the costs involved. Cancer patients need PC. When we need something, it should be funded properly by world cancer organisations or charities.

One thing I'd also say is that...

you will never understand how important PC is unless you have cancer, or a friend/family member with cancer. You cannot take in the reality of being told "I am sorry, but it is cancer", you can imagine it, but it is not the same.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

I have (at this current time!) never had cancer...but the friends and family members that have is a high number! I am also friends w/many Doctors on a social level that share their concern w/the growing number of younger folks that are getting cancer. Planet Cancer is a fantastic way for this generation to connect with others who are going through this nightmare or have been there to offer support. Family support is crucial...but as we all know..it isn't enough. Thank you Planet Caner for making a positive difference in this world!!! I will continue to donate funds as well as tell everyone that I run into about Planet Cancer.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The website, the news letter, their reaching out across the states with their up to date info, their doctors info, the shared experiences and created friendships.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Turn it back over to the current staff.. they are doing a FANTASTIC job and Heidi rocks!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Watching their videos, interviews, hearing real life stories of shared experiences, new friendships, wonderful camp experiences and the learning!!! No need to reinvent a wheel with many of the struggles...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I have not met all of the staff but watching them on their videos through the newsletter/site they seem to work really well together.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

continue to help other cancer folks that don't have the funds to either continue treatment or reach the doctors they need through a scholarship process. They could benefit the doctors who are working on research, hire a bigger staff to expand and grow

Ways to make it better...

I lived closer to Austin and could be there to participate in the camps and outings; meet the group and help volunteer.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

reaching the increasing number of young adults getting cancer. I think

One thing I'd also say is that...

God works in and through people. The folks that created this group and are making a GREAT difference in this world are cancer survivors themselves. Heidi Adams took the lemons she was given and made a sweet pitcher of lemonade to share with others.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

I would like to thank Plaanet Cancer again for the out reach to my son when he was fighting his battle with cancer. My son Michael Moore was invited to couples weekend in 2007 with his wife Sarah. They did not know that this would be their last trip together. Michael had a wonderful time meeting some very special people and sharing his last days with them in such a speical environment. This weekend opened him up and he and Sarah talked about some very difficult subjects. Michael also had the chance to vist with his army buddie that lived close to Planet Cancer. Michael retruned to California and was hospitalized with pneumonia. All the treatments had compromised his lungs and other organs and he could not fight the cancer any longer. He died on March 6, 2007 peacefully with his family at his side. Our wonderful Sarah is still very involved with Planet Cancer and we love to hear about all the projects they do to help young adults with cancer.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daughter in law is still envolved with Planet Cancer and we hear about the positive things they are doing for young adults with cancer.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Due to our son fighting so hard to live for 12 long years with his cancer. I now volunteer for Hospice one day a week in our town. I think that Planet Cancer has influenced me to give back.

Ways to make it better...

NA

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and this social network for young people afflicted by various cancers helped me connect with other people that had the same or similar diagnosis as me. This service is invaluable in allowing young people with an uncommon and stigmatized shared experience to come together and offer support and hope to each other. This service was a fantastic help to me as a recently diagnosed person whom had so many unanswered questions and felt so isolated and alone. This very simple idea helps so many people around the world by connecting us. Planet Cancer unites young survivors in solidarity as opposed to being isolated in fear.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my decreased anxiety and fear through connecting with other young people whom shared my experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try and spread the word

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the ability to connect with others for support, information and commiseration.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

other survivors

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

effectively announce it's existence and thus announce to the world the ever increasing amount of young people who are battling cancer.

Ways to make it better...

there were more people using the service

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of publicity

One thing I'd also say is that...

PC demonstrates how many young people are fighting cancer and can help increase awareness to the public that Cancer is no longer a disease of infants and elderly but is devestating many vibrant people in the prime of their lives.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 36. This meant that I was at least 20 years younger than anyone else I met who was going through treatment. Planet Cancer helped me to connect with people dealing with the same things that I was. I cannot say enough good things about this organization!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the community that they have built.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the retreats I have been able to attend.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

FABULOUS! AWESOME! WONDERFUL!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Help even more young adults facing cancer, allowing them to survive well and give back to society.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Planet Cancer is a fantastic organization that seeks to fill a void many young adults seem to fall into when they face a cancer diagnosis. Many are uninsured, or underinsured, newly independent, starting their careers or in the early stages of one, and they can quickly become overwhelmed at the huge decisions facing them. Planet Cancer provides peer support for those exact needs, and a community of people who have "been there" and "get it." One memory from one of the PC retreats I was privileged to attend always sticks out to me - when a young adult named Mike said after it that he felt comfortable there, because for once, he wasn't the "guy in the room with cancer" - he was simply Mike. PC is also a helpful resource for friends and family to gain a better understanding of what the patient may be going through and dealing with - which is extremely important as this demographic can be struggling with the things mentioned above, as well as moving back in with your parents, trying to date with Cancer, etc... I've had some incredible experiences volunteering for Planet Cancer, and have literally seen young adults light up like you can't believe at the realization that they are NOT alone in their struggle, that there (unfortunately) ARE others "like" them, going through similar things, and that they can connect with them and gain strength from those relationships and connections as they keep pushing through treatment and hopefully beyond...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The faces of Young adult cancer patients I've met who realize that they don't have to go through it alone - that there are others like them out there.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Literally watching lives being positively affected in as short a period of time as a weekend.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Absolutely fantastic - real, passionate, and fun - which are several qualities needed in serving this demographic.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Go Global quicker than they are and help to fill the void of support young adults now face...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

Planet Cancer provides support and encouragement to Adolescent/Young Adults (AYA) with cancer. They provide a service that is specific to this age group and really resonates with the concerns that AYAs face when dealing with cancer. You can't find a better organization that helps this age group.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping and connecting with young adults

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not change a thing

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the creative ways they help people

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

amazing and full of energy

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

really change the way AYA cancers are diagnosed and help increase the survival rate within this population. The survival rate within this group has not increased since the 1970s.

Ways to make it better...

we could have raise even more money to help people

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding

One thing I'd also say is that...

they are wonderful!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

My sister really could have used an organization like Planet Cancer when she was diagnosed at age 19. She never felt like there was an outlet for people her to connect with others going through the same thing and where people would "get" what she is going through. Planet Cancer not only provides support and community for young adults with cancer but also advocates for the needs of young adults with cancer out in the big, bad world. I believe wholeheartedly in Planet Cancer and that is why my family's foundation which we created in my sister's memory has been a major donor to PC every year since its inception.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The thousands of registered users on MyPlanet, exchanging support, information and connection.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Getting to attend one of their amazing retreats for young adults!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Knowledgeable, passionate and dedicated

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Reach out to every young adult with cancer in the US, let them know that they're not alone, and help make their voice heard

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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