What is Vital Options?

Monday, October 15, 2012
By, Selma Schimmel
Vital Options was founded in 1983 as first psychosocial and advocacy organization for young adults with cancer when I had breast cancer at the age of 28.  I began the organization in response to my own sense of isolation and because of the delay in my own diagnosis having being told “I was too young for cancer.”   I knew there had to be others like me also feeling alone and not being taken seriously as a potential cancer patient.
In the mid 1990’s, Vital Options expanded into cancer communications for people of all ages and with a new mission, to facilitate a global cancer dialogue with the launch of The Group Room® cancer talk radio show.  The program allowed listeners to speak directly with leading oncologists in the US and Europe.  The show literally changed the way people talked about cancer.  In 2000, Vital Options further expanded internationally with a European division based in Paris. France.
While no longer limited to young adults, Vital Options remains actively involved in today’s dynamic young adult cancer movement and in recognition of its 20th anniversary, Vital Options launched National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week®, which is celebrated the first week in April as a collaborative effort with all organizations committed to the concerns of young adults with cancer.

After 14 years in a radio format, Vital Options recently transitioned to a video platform.  In addition to The Group Room, Vital Options now produces a variety of cancer video and Internet TV programs with key oncology opinion leaders, researchers, advocates, survivors, and noted personalities, bringing the latest medical information, resources and support to patients and their loved ones.  Content is obtained at leading oncology meetings and also made available without charge to other cancer organizations as video for their websites.

Vital Options newest program is Advocacy in Action®, with a goal to empower and support the needs and objectives of cancer advocacy.  Advocacy in Action (AIA)documents and puts into context core issues and connects the global advocate community by bringing together its leaders in interactive and focused discussions that are meant to influence positive change, shape policy, and propel research and access to new technologies.   2010 marked the first international AIA production.

Vital Options International strives to create innovative programs that fosters a greater understanding of cancer and its treatments, enabling patients and their loved ones to have more informed discussions with their medical providers, as well as enhancing communication amongst key oncology opinion leaders and the global cancer advocacy community


For more information on Vital Options International or to view programs, please visit www.vitaloptions.org and www.thegrouproom.tv.

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