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Letters from Our Readers
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Web Exclusive: Finding Faith
March 16, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
Web Exclusive: Spirit-Sending Ceremony
March 16, 2010
Treatment Snapshot
March 16, 2010
Mutant Tissue Wanted
March 17, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
Today's Lesson: Cancer
March 17, 2010 – Bunmi Ishola
Camp Friendship
March 15, 2010 – Bunmi Ishola
Staging Takes a Leap
March 16, 2010 – Charlotte Huff
Now or Later?
March 16, 2010 – Charlotte Huff
Living with Lung Cancer
March 16, 2010 – Lori Monroe
A Good Night's Sleep
March 16, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
Pipeline
March 14, 2010 – Katy Human
Mediterranean Diet May Help Prevent Stomach Cancer
March 15, 2010 – Bunmi Ishola
Taking a Radiation 'Trip'
March 13, 2010 – Cyndi Fagot
Finding Meaning & Purpose
March 14, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
The Next Big Thing
March 15, 2010 – Katy Human
Preventive Vaccines: Triggering an Immune Response
March 15, 2010 – Katy Human
Creating a Plan to Get Moving
March 15, 2010 – Laura Beil
A How-To for the Social Media Beginner
March 15, 2010 – Karen Patterson
Cancer Vaccines No Longer a Long Shot
March 12, 2010 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Between Me and the River
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Teens Helping Teens
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When You Need Information on el Cáncer
March 15, 2010 – Elizabeth Whittington
Following the Patient's Spiritual Lead
March 14, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
Go Fish
March 14, 2010 – Don Vaughan
Special Report
March 11, 2010 – Karen Patterson
Tingling Troubles
March 11, 2010 – Bunmi Ishola
Alongside My Wife
March 09, 2010 – Vaughn Smider, MD, PhD
Sleepless in Seattle, San Antonio & St. Louis
March 13, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
Welcomed Workout
March 04, 2010 – Laura Beil
Friends in Need
March 12, 2010 – Karen Patterson
Letters from Our Readers
March 01, 2010
More Than One Reason to Celebrate for Dexter Star
March 15, 2010 – Bunmi Ishola
New Jersey Legalizes Medical Marijuana
March 15, 2010 – Bunmi Ishola
Lung Overdue
March 13, 2010 – Charlotte Huff
Keeping the Faith
March 07, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
Getting Personal
March 04, 2010 – Katy Human

Teens Helping Teens

The Childhood Cancer Foundation in Canada recognized the unique needs of teens with cancer and created Teen Connector, a Facebook-style website.

BY Bunmi Ishola
PUBLISHED March 02, 2010

Since the teenage years already come with a long list of problems and worries, having cancer added to the mix seems like it’d be a living nightmare. The Childhood Cancer Foundation in Canada recognized the unique needs of teens with cancer and created Teen Connector (www.teenconnector.ca), a Facebook-style website.

Social networking sites, like Facebook, have become popular tools for individuals of all backgrounds to provide updates on their lives, share their interests, and keep up with old friends, while making new ones. For cancer patients, social networking has also become a great tool for creating a support group (see “Friends in Need”).

Since its launch last fall, Teen Connector has become a place where young cancer patients and survivors can be inspired and supported by special mentors; build a network of friends; share stories in group discussions and journals; create fundraising events; and get cancer-related information geared toward them. The site also provides games and activities.

“It’s got a lot of traditional social networking features, but there’s a lot that’s catered to someone going through treatment, or in the hospital,” says Lauren Donnelly, an 18-year-old cancer survivor from Ontario, Canada. “A lot of things are specialized to cancer patients.”

Donnelly is one of 12 teen cancer survivors who were key to developing the content, functionality, and style of the Teen Connector website. Donnelly also serves as a Teen Connector mentor, a special category of Teen Connector members who are post-treatment and have gone through training to provide support, advice, and motivation to teens currently progressing through their cancer journey.

“It’s been a really great experience talking to teens—being able to encourage them,” says Donnelly, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was 15. “It’s something I would have loved to have when I was going through treatment.”

This is what makes Teen Connector so unique; it’s designed specifically for teens on treatment. But teens finished with treatment can find a place for themselves, too. And, Donnelly assures, the registration process is very easy.

“You can be online and talking to others going through a similar experience as you within a few minutes.” 

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