OYC strives to assist young cancer patients and survivors as they navigate the difficult days, months and years following a cancer diagnosis. Through referral from hospital partners, OYC provides teen and young adult cancer patients with age-appropriate programming, engaging activities and opportunities for reflective conversation both during their hospital stay and after they return home. Activities include phone calls, planned events and social networking designed to help these young survivors cope with various issues as they encounter them. These interactions offer a healthy emotional distraction from the constant weight of an uncertain future and the stress of treatment while also building relationships. Staffed by young adult survivors of cancer along with volunteer medical, mental health and hospital staff, OYC programs patients find opportunities to bond with one another in order to build a close-knit community of survivors, spending time helping each other through a shared life-changing experience.
Activities designed to let them relax and “be themselves”, along with those that provide education and understanding, are the cornerstones of the program. This provides patients with both the resources and knowledge to help them navigate the difficulties of life after treatment.
An Oregon non-profit corporation in partnership with a number of outside cancer support organizations, this in-hospital program will help young adults understand their diagnoses and learn what it means to live a life that is healthy, both physically and emotionally.
OYC starts by meeting teenagers as soon as they are diagnosed, providing them with the friendship and support of cancer survivors who understand the ups and downs that in-hospital treatment can cause.
These young adult survivor leaders will organize fun and reflective activities that will help the teens forget about the treatments and process social/emotional effects of cancer.<br /><br />OYC also understands that it is often when treatment ends that the real work begins for many young adults. Poor physical and emotional lifestyle choices are major challenges facing this age group. With that in mind, the program will continue to serve the young adults beyond hospital walls by working with a number of outside cancer organizations to help the survivors have fun with one another, make healthy choices, and plan for the future.
Finally, in order to give young adults more opportunities to understand their illnesses, OYC will help train dedicated longtime survivors to get involved by becoming leaders. This reflects not only our mission to provide services for the young adult population, but also offers the opportunity to transform a cancer diagnosis into a positive life change.
OYC also understands that it is often when treatment ends that the real work begins for many young adults. Poor physical and emotional lifestyle choices are major challenges facing this age group. With that in mind, the program will continue to serve the young adults beyond hospital walls by helping the survivors draw strength from one another, make healthy choices, and plan for their future. Once patients they leave the hospital, whether moving on to outpatient treatment or finishing their cancer treatment, they can rely on the established network of support as they experience the ebb and flow of emotions of psychological barriers experienced over the next months and years. They may find themselves participating in program planning, often reaching out to others going through struggles they have experienced in the past.
Oncology Youth Connection (OYC) was created to support adolescent and young adult cancer survivors by helping promote healthy physical, psychological and social development following their cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Oncology Youth Connection’s mission is to inspire resilience in young adults challenged with cancer by providing a community of peers that participate in social, service, and educational activities, and increase awareness about young adult cancer issues.