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.
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'.