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Lending a Celebrity Voice to Young Cancer Survivors

In addition to offering online resources, Stupid Cancer also puts on events where survivors can meet up, learn more about facing cancer and be around others who may be going through the same struggles.
BY Brielle Urciuoli
PUBLISHED October 06, 2017
Italia Ricci speaks to guests at the Stupid Cancer Toast: A 10-Year Celebration PHOTO COURTESY OF STUPID CANCER
Italia Ricci speaks to guests at the Stupid Cancer Toast: A 10-Year Celebration PHOTO COURTESY OF STUPID CANCER
Each year more than 70,000 people between the ages of 15 and 39 are diagnosed with cancer in the United States. But, they aren’t alone. For the past 10 years, Stupid Cancer has been “making cancer suck less” for adolescents and young adults (AYA).

The nonprofit organization offers online age-appropriate resources ranging from fertility information to financial navigation. Its mission highlights three main points: building community, improving quality of life and providing meaningful survivorship.

Since its inception in 2007, Stupid Cancer has raised more than $5 million to fight cancer in the AYA population, according to its website.

In addition to offering online resources, Stupid Cancer also puts on events where survivors can meet up, learn more about facing cancer and be around others who may be going through the same struggles.

For example, the upcoming CancerCon, set for April 2018 in Denver, welcomes hundreds of young survivors, caregivers and family members each year providing workshops, educational programs, discussions, networking and social activities.

In addition, “Toast: A 10-Year Celebration” was held last week in New York City. The sold-out event had Katie Couric on its hosting committee and TV star Italia Ricci from ABC Family’s “Chasing Life” as an honoree who spoke to the crowd. To raise money for the cause, Stupid Cancer auctioned off experiences like tickets to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel Live! that sold for $1,100 and $1080, respectively, and a team-autographed New York Rangers hockey jersey, which went for $325.

Overall, the event raised more than $200,000. It served as the official kickoff of Stupid Cancer’s 10-year anniversary campaign, which runs from now until the end of December and will include crowdfunding, promotions, a video reel of birthday messages from celebrities to patients and community engagement where people can share their stories.

“Over the past 10 years Stupid Cancer built a young adult cancer community and gave it a bullhorn with social media platforms, meetups, 21 first-of-a-kind conferences, a podcast with 4 million listens, a network of bloggers and, most recently, a peer-matching app, all resulting in a new voice,” said Thea Linscott, chair of Stupid Cancer’s Board of Directors. “The message has been clear: ‘Young adult cancer survivors have unique survival needs and they’ve been overlooked. We’re grateful we've been heard, for one, by the National Cancer Institute which is finally sanctioning young adult cancer research.”
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