I’m an official ambassador!
“You have cancer” is probably one of the most terrifying things you can be told. It doesn’t matter how old you are, this statement will instantly evoke fear, uncertainty and the anticipation of sickness and pain. Growing up in Western society, this is what we are taught goes hand-in-hand with cancer. Upon being granted this diagnosis, the first images to flash through my mind were of frailty, rapid weight loss and losing my hair. I’d only known a hand full of people who had shared cancer and all of them had been quite old. I didn’t know one person my own age, or even close to my own age, who could sympathise with what I was about to experience.
Being 22 at the time, I was just getting started in my career as a magazine writer. I was enjoying living away from home, in an entirely different state to my parents and the small Coastal town I grew up in, and making the most of every advantage afforded to being young in the city of Sydney. I was living a lifestyle that far exceeded anything I had ever hoped for myself. So when it was all pulled out from under me, with the words “terminal cancer”, I plunged into an existence fuelled by fear and trepidation. I suddenly found myself in a situation that forced me to be responsible and submissive at the same time. I was at that strange age where I was too old to just sit back and let my parents take care of me, but I was too young to be financially and emotionally equipped to deal with the sudden unexpected shit storm on my own.
It’s because of this deep understanding of what it’s like to be a young adult with cancer that I have chosen to team up with The Warwick Foundation as an official ambassador. I have been approached by cancer charities in the past, and have always turned them down due to the fact that most of them exist to throw money into the cancer industry’s bottomless pit. At first I thought The Warwick Foundation would be the same, but after meeting with them and hearing about their mission, I realised we share very similar ideals. The Warwick Foundation is Australia’s first and only charitable foundation supporting young adults aged 18-40 on their cancer journey. Their aim is to show young adults that just because life as they knew it was interrupted by cancer, does not mean that their life is over. And by no means are they alone. What I love most about this charity is that they help us deal with the unspoken issues that can accompany a cancer diagnosis at this age – things like infertility, social isolation, moving back in with the parents (something I can definitely relate to) and all of the challenges that can arise while dating and carrying on a romantic relationship.
If you are a young adult (aged between 18-40) with cancer, I would highly recommend getting in touch with The Warwick Foundation. It’s free to join them, and you will instantly have access to all of their supportive and spoiling programs. Mates in my Shoes is like a buddy system connecting members of a similar gender, age, diagnosis, or treatment choice. They also run Wellness Escapes, Warwick’s Wishes and Get Spoilt! events. Check out their website to read more.
The Warwick Foundation receives no government funding, so if you would like to donate to this wonderful charity, you can do so by clicking here.
I am so proud and unbelievably honoured to be teaming up with these guys and I am looking forward to helping them expand their scope of influence and help out as many young adults with cancer as possible. As I said to them when I met with them, I wish I’d known about The Warwick Foundation when I was first diagnosed. Click here to check out my bio and fellow ambassadors.
Do you know someone who could benefit by getting in touch with The Warwick Foundation?
Positive affirmation for the day: I allow myself mental downtime every single day.
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