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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer

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

Programs: Planet cancer has provided a critical community of peer support and advocacy for young adults with cancer.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma when i was 28 years old. i noticed that i was the youngest person in the chemo suite 9 days out of 10. I couldnt relate to the older generation of people and they couldnt me. i have since been through two seperate other cancer diagnosis and only up until this year did i find planet cancer. it helps to have a place where your peers can respond to your questions and where the conversation is pertinent to your life as a young adult cancer survivor.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so grateful that Planet Cancer exists. This group has provided a HUGE support system for me. That in it self is priceless. The emotional side is often pushed to the side, but I believe that it plays a big role in surviving cancer. I felt so alone,isolated,and young.The minute I logged on to this sight I was immediately surrounded with love and understanding. "yes finally someone out there gets me" The best part of it is that it is free for me to log on everyday and get the support that I need. Even when I fly to my treatment center by myself, all I have to do is log in and boom I am no longer all alone. They have also brought a large amount of knowledge and fight for better treatment to the young adult cancer community I think I would be lost with out this organization..