What is StupidCancer?

Monday, October 15, 2012
By, Jack Bouffard
The I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation, was founded in January 2007 by Matthew Zachary, a then-11 year young adult survivor of pediatric brain cancer. Back in 1995, support resources for young adults were scarce and Matthew was at a loss to find other patients his age. In launching this nonprofit organization, Matthew’s vision was for no young adult affected by cancer to go without age-appropriate support. Thus, “Stupid Cancer” was born and, four year later, the Foundation has become the nation’s largest support community of young adults affected by cancer.

 

The Foundation’s website, StupidCancer.com is a one-stop shop for newly diagnosed young adults as well as survivors.  The site is designed to allow young adults to zero in on the precise support they are seeking.  Tabs labeled I’m All AloneI Need MoneyI Need A LawyerI Can’t Work and I Need A Break, direct site users to organizations providing resources young adult survivors may not even know exist.

The Foundation has numerous local and regional chapters that host social events such as Stupid Cancer Happy Hours, which encourage young adult patients, survivors and caregivers to “Get Busy Living.” These meet-ups are a great way for local communities to provide age-appropriate social connections and foster supportive connections. Local chapters also host Boot Camps, which serve as boutique educational conferences featuring local survivors, providers and resources.

Our signature program, The Stupid Cancer Show, is an award-winning international talk radio webcast giving voice to the young adult cancer community by tackling hard hitting issues from politics, health care and the environment to social media, entertainment and education. Worldwide listenership for the show has exceeded 475,000as it continues to attract a Who’s Who of A-list guests for its weekly lineup. The Stupid Cancer Show broadcasts live every Monday from 8pm-9pm ET and is hosted byMatthew Zachary and fellow young adult survivor Lisa Bernhard – acclaimed journalist, former Entertainment Correspondent for FOX News and former Deputy Editor of TV Guide – along with myself as their “witty sidekick.”

In 2008, The I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society joined forces in presenting the OMG Cancer Summit For Young Adults With Cancer, the only annual international oncology conference and social networking event for young adults affected by all cancers, as well as their caregivers and providers. The 4th Annual OMG! Summit will be held in New York City on April 16-17, 2011.

In December 2010, the Foundation launched the Stupid Cancer Forums a new social community for anyone to post discussions about anything and everything Stupid Cancer. The Forums, which have received tremendous initial response, benefits from an alliance with the National Coalition of Oncology Nurse Navigators (NCONN), providing a unique space for young adults to connect and share experiences.

 

When I was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin Lymphoma in January 2008, I was the youngest in my treatment center and support group by 20+ years.  There wasn’t anyone my age with the same needs.  Being a part of the Stupid Cancer Movement has empowered me to ensure no other young adult patient or survivor feels the same way I did.  To be a part of this movement has been nothing short of awesome and I wouldn’t change the path I have been on one bit.

Here’s to 2011 and beyond!

Stupid cancer! Survivors rule!

 

Jack Bouffard

VP, Mission

Chief Cancer Anarchist

I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation

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