Today is World Cancer Day, Atlanta

04Feb10

I recently got to sit through a presentation about Cancer in Young Adults given by Jenn Potter, a woman who’d survived thyroid cancer. Eye-opening can’t even begin to describe it; I’ve never been able to hear about the experience first-hand from someone close to me in age before. The wellness nerd within me (I’ve always had a fascination with science, anatomy, and medicine) was fascinated to hear about what she’d gone through. But on the other hand, I just kept thinking about how hard that must have been, especially since she was only 23 years old when she got the diagnosis. Considering that earlier in my 20s, I feel like I was a 24/7 sobfest about the wind blowing the wrong way sometimes, I have nothing but admiration and respect for her. She survived and went on to create the group Young Adult Cancer Survivors of Atlanta because she saw that the support mechanism for young adults was seriously lacking. Jenn is one of my DoinGood heroes here in Atlanta!

Today is World Cancer Day, a day of awareness started by the International Union Against Cancer (UICC). Each year, their campaign has a different focus; in 2010, the theme is “Cancer can be prevented too.”

According to the UICC’s 2010 report, 21% of cancer cases are caused by (or are increasingly likely due to) infections such as Hepatitis B or Hep C. Doctors believe many of these infections are preventable via vaccines, healthy eating and exercising, and curbing bad habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol. Their whole point is that we can at least try to control what happens to us – eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle can, among other things, decrease your likelihood of these viruses which may ultimately result in cancer. Cancer is such a frightening thing and it touches so many of us. I lost a dear work friend to cancer late last year and she’s been on my mind lately. We miss you, Myra!!

Speaking of cancer, I’ll take this opportunity to tell you about a group making a difference here in Atlanta. Young Professionals of Atlanta for the American Cancer Society is a group here whose primary focus is to bring us young working folk together to DoGood in raising cancer awareness, participate in American Cancer Society activities, and fundraising for ACS programs such as the Hope Lodge in Decatur, which gives cancer patients and their caregivers a place to stay while they’re in Atlanta to receive treatment. ACS Young Professionals group also hosts events for young professionals such as career strategy nights and happy hour events (which sometimes involve shopping with a big discount and/or a raffle for some pretty awesome prizes).
Currently, the group is looking for volunteers to help out with a Valentine’s Night at Hope Lodge next Tuesday, the 9th. They will be cooking dinner for the residents (at about 5pm) and then creating Valentines for the Hope Lodge guests and their caregivers (around 7). Interested in making a difference for someone going through the battle with cancer? Email jenniecoakley@yahoo.com if you can make it out to dinner and/or the valentine-making party. I volunteered to make dinner at Hope Lodge twice last summer and it was such a good time. Give it a whirl…and while you’re there, find out more about how you can join the fight against cancer.

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One Response to “Today is World Cancer Day, Atlanta”

  1. Thanks for this info. I lost my Nana to cancer in Nov 2008. I can’t believe its been over a year already. 😦

    Glad that awareness is taking place and that young people are doing some positive things to spread the word. God bless.


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