Listen in as Guest Speaker, Shona Lovie, from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) speaks with Founder of Stupid Cancer, Matthew Zachary onsite at CancerCon 2018 in Denver, Colorado. Film composer and concert pianist by the age of 21, Matthew was confident about what his next steps would be until life threw him the proverbial curve ball. After feeling strange sensations in his left arm and ignoring it for some time, while also being told it ‘was all in his head’, Matthew was floored when he learned he would need surgery on his brain for what was later diagnosed to be medulloblastoma, a cancerous tumor, also called cerebellar primitive. Matthew shares how this diagnosis changed his life and at time when he was supposed to be focused on the usual ‘hard things’ like high school, college, jobs, dating, a family, and buying a house, he was met with limited resources necessary for his age at a very challenging time of his life.
With 1.4 million young adult cancer survivors in America alone, Matthews shares that he began Stupid Cancer to let other young adult cancer survivors know that they are not alone and have resources available for them. Stupid Cancer addresses the main concerns for the young adult population (ages 15- 39) including mental health, social media, isolation, fear, anxiety, fertility and recurrence while also looking at the practical issues that are unique to this group regarding insurance, and employment. Looking back on how far Stupid Cancer has come, Matthew also shares their proudest moments.
CancerCon is the annual, international gathering, organized by Stupid Cancer, that brings together patients, survivors, caregivers, advocates, and activists, along with oncology team professionals and the healthcare industry through a shared goal of improving young adult cancer health outcomes.
Please comment below as we’d love to hear your feedback on this episode. Also, be sure to subscribe today to be notified of future episodes.
Mentioned on this episode:
- Stupid Cancer
- Children’s Cause for Cancer Advocacy
- National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
- LIVESRTONG, Adolescents & Young Adult Alliance
Additional LLS Support Resources:
- Information Specialists
- Free telephone/web patient programs
- Free booklets
- Financial support
- Online chats
- Caregiver support
- LLS Community
- Support groups
- Patti Robinson Kaufmann First Connection Program
Please comment below as we’d love to hear your feedback on this episode. Also, be sure to subscribe today to be notified of our next episode.