Youth Movement

Published on: 
Heal, Summer 2007, Volume 1, Issue 1

Events and other ways to connect.

Cancer has become a popular topic in today’s media world. Blogs, movies, magazines, books and websites offer information, community and a great source of survivor stories. Below we offer just a little window-shopping from the world of cancer-related media.

Vital Options International TeleSupport Cancer Network

Selma Schimmel, diagnosed with breast cancer at age 28, was one of the first young survivors to use media to offer support. She founded the first support group for young adults with cancer, Vital Options: Support for Young Adults with Cancer, in 1983. Well, Selma has matured and so has the audience for Vital Options. Check out her website for what is now (

Planet Cancer

(, a wonderful, often irreverent online community for young adults, was founded by friends Heidi Schultz Adams, Robin Blue and Paul Cox after each was diagnosed with cancer in his or her early 20s. Planet Cancer has retreats and connects young adults in their chat room called “fish tank,” where you can swim around. There are T-shirts with great slogans, and a particularly playful clothing item for a cancer survivor — a thong that says, “It’s not just my head that’s bald, you know ... ”

Matthew Zachary started Steps for Living in 2004, nine years after receiving his diagnosis of pediatric brain cancer at age 21. A concert pianist, Zachary created the advocacy and support organization to link adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with other young survivors by using a common denominator: music and the arts. When you open the page, the first thing you see are portals to other sites, one of which is, a resource portal and cool place where musician survivors have shared their talents.

One Spirit

No one needs another catalog. But if you are looking for good sources of materials for a newly developed interest in mind/body, try (, which has a wide variety of books and CDs with a few card sets thrown in. You’ll find everything from mainstream cookbooks to The Tao of Sketching, along with books and other materials on yoga, nutrition, Eastern and Western healing, philosophy, angels and more. When you join, you choose five books for $2 (plus shipping and handling) and get a free tote bag. You commit to buying four more books in two years, and will have to opt out if you don’t want to receive a “featured selection” that is offered roughly every three weeks.

“Best of Stress Management Kit,”

James Gordon, MD, founder and director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, in cooperation with a number of mind/body gurus, has created the a stress management system that you can use at home. This “course in a box,” as they call it, has a DVD tutorial, 10 audio CD lessons and exercises, an electronic biofeedback monitor and a companion workbook. If you have never used biofeedback, trust us, it’s cool — you can watch yourself calm down on a monitor. The price might be a little stressful at $219, but think about going in on it with your support group. Go to to check out the kit.