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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Planet Cancer

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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.

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

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...



Rating: 5

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.