I am a volunteer who originally learned about i2y as a job applicant. Thank G-d I have never had to deal with cancer but I have been so impressed with the organization and its leaders that I am doing all I can to strengthen i2y's ability to help as many survivors as possible. I am so impressed with the work i2y does and the commitment of its leaders.
I am honored to be part of such an amazing organization that is edgy and determined to fight against cancer and bring attention to the young adult cancer cause. This organization is full of determined young cancer patient survivors, caregivers, health professionals and advocates fighting for the same cause. I only hope that i2y is recognized for its achievements that have been made both locally and nationally.
I joined iy in the early stages, early 2007. I had just left my last treatment in Florida, moved to Ohio and wanted to find others, my age, who had gone through what my wife and I had both experienced in my fight against a rare form of testicular cancer. The vigor that I found from meeting Matthew Zachary and the rest of iy was contageous. I soon went from looking for others like me, to helping organize events locally. I then took over as Regional Director where we pushed our chapter development in to new communities. Watching other survivors interact with survivors and those going through cancer now was invigorating and just made me want to work that much harder to help this total grassroots effort keep its momentum and become the permier website for young adults. Every day they reach a new milestone. 'Stupid Cancer' has become entrenched in the cancer community! We live, breathe and sleep it! iy showed us how to live with it and get on with our lives!
I came across I2Y about 2 years ago when I came across a link. I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005 and had been trying to find an organization that dealt with young adults going through a cancer diagnosis. Thank God I came across this organization. The founder, Matthew Zachary, has such a passion for young adult cancer advocacy and it totally shows. Everyone that I have met through this organization has been such a Godsend and has showed me that even though we are dealt a horrible life card, it won't take us down! Stupid Cancer!!!
Ever since I have started volunteering for iy there has been an overwhelming amount of support in my area. The local hospital, survivors, local foundations, and community can't wait to help our chapter. There are so many people out there that feel that young adult cancer patients and survivors are being under served, but iy helps people. Not only has the organization helped so many people, but the leadership is outstanding. When I was planning my trip to New York I simply wanted to visit the iy office, but Matthew Zachary wanted me to visit and stay for the Stupid Cancer Show as well. Matthew Zachary and Jack Bouffard are most down to earth and kind people I have ever met. When I met them I knew that I was with an organization that truly cared. From then on I knew I wanted to be more involved with iy. I love working for this organization and I can't wait to set up more events in the future.
When I was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 34 I felt alone and terrified. I2Y fills a much needed gap in the young adult cancer community and their unique approach empowers young adult survivors. I2Y will only continue to touch many more lives! Thank you!!
I have volunteered for I2Y for over a year and helped organize several happy hours. Those events are such a great way for young adult survivors to meet with others who have had similar experiences. Once we planned a happy hour to coincide with an out of town I2yer's visit for his yearly check up at MD Anderson. I think he was happy to get out of the hotel room and just relax with folks his own age. He even got a job lead from another young survivor. That's what I2Y is really all about for me: survivors connecting with other survivors.
When I was diagnosed with cancer at 27, I found myself thrust into a world of confusing terms, life-altering decisions, strange side effects, and profound loneliness. Through I2Y and their social networking capabilities, I've been able to connect with other survivors who, through shared experiences, provide an immediate comfort in my life. I know I am not alone. Because of my connections with I2Y, I am living every day with a sense of purpose.
As a young adult with cancer, it's a pretty scary world. Your doctors don't know how to handle you, your friends don't know what to say to you, your family treats you like you're 5 again... i2y was an organization that gave me hope again! Through their online database of young adult oriented resources, I was able to find a social community that understood what I was going through. I was able to find an AWESOME camp for AYA survivors and made some life-long friends as a result. i2y has been able to teach me that cancer isn't a sentence, it's just a word! I2Y AND MATT ZACHARY ROCKS!
When I was diagnosed with cancer, I scoured the internet to find support that was targeted at my age group. But as a twenty-one year old, I found nothing. However, I continued to search the web, and after a few months I found the I2Y website. I wondered then why I hadn't found it when I first looked, and several years later when I met Matt Zachary, founder if I2Y, I learned that the I2Y website had not been up and running when I was first diagnosed, because of this I can see the huge impact I2Y has made. The organization provided me with a massive amount of resources that were easy to navigate, from scholarships to young adult cancer retreats. I2Y isn't just a web site, it is a movement of young adult cancer survivors who are uniting in an effort to get the attention this under served and essentially ignored population needs to improve survival rates and quality of life. For me, I2Y has been a valuable resource for information and support, and I have watched as it has grown to create a global community of YA cancer survivors who are unified for a common goal. Matt Zachary has given a voice to the 70,000 young adults who become cancer survivors each year- a group that did not have a voice until I2Y was created.