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Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (AYAO) at Northwestern and Beyond

As recently mentioned, adolescent and young adult cancer patients form a unique subset of cancer patients who cross traditional divides and require collaboration across diverse disciplines. Oncofertility Consortium team members have joined forces with a team of clinical psychologists, physicians, and social workers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to address the concerns of our local adolescent and young adult cancer patients. The Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (AYAO) working group met for the first time this past fall, and continues to meet monthly. The AYAO working group is a spin-off of the LIVESTRONG™ Young Adult Alliance, which strives to coordinate initiatives to improve survival rates and quality of life for young adults living with cancer. The AYAO working group is dedicated to advancing the LIVESTRONG™ mission at Northwestern. Sub-committees have been created to address specific areas of interest, including Awareness, Standards of Care, and Science, and team members are currently working on a number of advocacy efforts.

Our AYAO meeting this past week featured Dr. David Victorson, Executive Director of True North Treks, a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of adolescent and young adult cancer survivors during their transition or re-entry from a cancer diagnosis and treatment to survivorship. True North Treks facilitates short term experiences in nature focused on contemplative and outdoor leadership activities. This organization aims to enrich the lives of adolescent and young adult cancer survivors by equipping them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to continually re-direct and improve upon themselves, others and the world in which they inhabit. For more information about True North Treks, please visit: http://www.truenorthtreks.org/

Also of interest to the AYAO are the new promotional materials available through the I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation (i[2]y), an organization dedicated to ensuring that every young adult affected by cancer is given access to the best age-appropriate support they are entitled to in order to get busy living at every stage of their survivorship. i[2]y offers online and offline social networking events, adventure retreats, chat rooms, forums and blogs, camping excursions, fertility advocacy, peer counseling, scholarships, financial aide, happy hours, and more. The organization, famous for its “stupid cancer” apparel, has been extremely successful its marketing, selling over 25,000 “stupid cancer” wristbands in 15 countries. A family friendly version of “Kemo,” the stupid cancer birdie mascot, has recently been announced, and new apparel is now available featuring this friendly feathered creature. For new Kemo t-shirts and gear, please visit: http://www.cafepress.com/i2yi2yi2yi2y/6801681

“Kemo,” the stupid cancer birdie mascot

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