Since so many of YACC's teammates were at Survivor Conference 2012, we thought we would extend the offer to someone who doesn't get a lot of opportunity to post on the website to try and wrap up the event in a way that showed the emotional impact rather than just the facts. Tracy Carberry, our Office Manager, was blown away by what she saw, and she wanted to share the following message with you.
Tracy (third from the left) with some of her new pals!
As I sit back and reflect on my first YACC experience, the Survivor Conference 2012 my heart feels warm and a smile creeps across my face. I feel blessed to have been a part of something so magical, yet so real!
I think about all the friends I have made in just four short days and how each of them made their own footprints on my heart. Their courage, strength, and beauty inspires me to live each day with a positive outlook and acceptance of whatever life throws my way.
I had the pleasure of listening to stories of survival, endurance, and bravery. Each of the stories reached into my heart and connected with me on some level words cannot describe. There were many times during those four days that I could not find words to describe what I was feeling...mind-blowing is as close as I can get!
Unless you have experienced a YACC event, you can’t really feel the true impact: the goosebumps, the tears, and the uncontrollable laughter.
I am honoured and deeply touched by the stories, the strength and the willingness to share and connect with the raw emotions of 90 brave souls. I was overwhelmed by the amount of acceptance, understanding, and love shared by this group, even though most of them were strangers just a few days ago.
As I sit here today, in my YACC office looking at all the Facebook messages, I can still feel the love and support, and most of all I can feel the connection. Thank you for sharing a life-changing experience with me; I will be forever grateful!
Check out the following links if you would like more information about what happened each day:
And here are some links to some external blog posts by survivors:
Amy Aubin | Bobloblaw’s Medical Blog
Dave Cashen | Memoir Of A Hollow Man
Robin Harry | The Lymphoma Lowdown
Lynsey Hodgson | Lynsthefirecracker
Lynn Manwar | lynnmanwar.com
Julie Michaud | Silverlupus: Life Thru Cancer And Other Hiccups
Posted on Nov 09, 2012 - 01:41 PM by Tracy
Sunday--the final day--was jam packed. From workshops in the morning, to the closing circle in the afternoon, to the banquet that evening, we really made sure to make it count!
Laura Pasqualino came to do a two-hour workshop in the morning for any parents who were wondering how to balance children and cancer. This is a topic we know a lot of people struggle with and we will provide some notes from the sessions here in the next few days.
Dr. Norma D'Agostino and YACC's very own Karine Chalifour held two sessions on anxiety and depression which were complemented by Frédéric Messier's two sessions on managing your networks.
The anxiety and depression session proved to be very moving as attendees talked about things that make them feel worried, guilty, and stressed. There isn't a magic idea that will solve everyone's problems, but one thing we learned is it is important to identify if any external factors may be having an impact on your emotions (ex. medications, foods, sleeping patterns, etc.).
One great takeaway from the network workshop was the idea of keeping people in the loop. When Fred's wife, Weifun, was diagnosed overseas, they sent emails containing just the facts to people who needed to be in the know when they returned to Canada. That kept them from having to recite the exhausting history and gave their friends and family a filter to use when offering help.
Some people were uncomfortable with taking that approach to keep the masses informed, but great things can come from an email group. Don't forget--YACC exists partly because Geoff started updating people on his "real time" cancer experience through email. That doesn't mean it's right for you, but it's worth examining other techniques such as trusted spokespeople and even blogs if you are finding it difficult to manage the conversation.
One of the highlights of the Conference was the survivor panel with Colin Anderson, Dawn Cleary, and Tim Buckland. They each spoke about their experience with cancer and how they transitioned beyond it. Dawn proved why her attitude toward repeat diagnoses makes her one of the fiercest people we know, Tim captivated us with a tale about how he came to be a three-time testicular cancer survivor, and Colin delivered the money shot: "Cancer didn't make me better; cancer made me worse. YACC made me better."
We wrapped up the formal part of the Conference Sunday afternoon with the closing circle. This is a tradition in YACC events where people participate in some sort of wrap up activity to help transition out of the conference bubble and back to the real world.
This year, delegates were given a puzzle piece with someone else's name on it during the opening ceremony. They got to know that person all weekend and then wrote a word on it to describe their "secret friend." Everyone took turns presenting their piece to the group and then put it in the middle of the circle where we made a big puzzle to show how everyone fits into the group.
Then, we celebrated with dinner, dancing, and awards at The Ballroom.
Matt Wells from MuchMoreMusic was the MC and his band, Lazybones, kept us entertained and got us on the dance floor before a DJ took our requests for the rest of the night. We can't thank them enough for coming out, and we don't want to say too much, but this isn't the last you'll see of Matt!
One cool thing we started this year was the PoP Awards which are given to some people who have been critical in the growth and development of YACC as an organization. Our first honourees were Dave Weiller for the generous donations CDL Systems has made to the Survivor Conference for the past six years, Dr. Norma D'Agostino for offering her psychological expertise which ensures our programs are life-changing, and Brian Vallis for his ongoing commitment and leadership of YACC's Board of Directors.
A photo booth was set up to capture Retreat Yourself groups, couples, best friends, new friends, and other segments of the crowd in their party finery and rock and roll costumes.
Geoff found a new ersatz microphone by way of a glass water bottle and everyone stayed until they couldn't fight off tired feet and drooping eyelids any longer.
We hope you all had as much fun as we did, and that we'll see you again next year!
Don't forget to keep checking back over the next week for workshop notes and wrap up posts from more of the YACC crew!
Posted on Nov 05, 2012 - 06:14 AM by angie
Wow. That's the easiest way to sum up Saturday.
Frédéric Messier opened the day and opened our hearts with a short talk on his experience as a caregiver to his wife, Weifun, and the aftermath when she passed away. He brought us all into his story and touched almost everyone in the room. It was the perfect way to start the day that included the community walk (more on that later).
We then moved into more workshop sessions. Dr. Heather Palmer and Jennifer Chown led another two-hour session on brain fog for those who didn't attend on Friday.
Dr. Anne Katz came back to lead two workshops: one for singles and one for couples. These went over like gangbusters and we'll post some notes and tips over the next couple of weeks for those who weren't able to attend.
Glen Oliver also came back for two back-to-back sessions on insurance. We learned there are a lot of questions and issues surrounding health, life, home, travel, long term disability, etc. insurance, and Glen did a great job at answering as many as he could. Participants found answers or suggestions to questions they had carried for a long time.
The 7k for 7k happened after lunch. Geoff encouraged us to "Celebrate, remember, change" as we walked through High Park. Absent cancer buddies were remembered and thought of no matter the circumstances surrounding their absences. The group went to a nearby Swan and Firkin for some pub grub and to unwind before dinner. Hearts were open, emotions were raw, and maybe some people moved beyond some things that were holding them back.
After dinner, everyone learned more about YACC at the Marketplace. This was a new idea as a way to tell people about all the things YACC does without another PowerPoint presentation. We set up seven stations to teach people about Localife, Retreat Yourself, Retreat Yourself Adventure, online engagement, third-party events, our governance, and the Shave for the Brave. Groups moved around in teams and received eight-minute presentations at each table. When they had seen all of them, they answered questions based on each. The members of the team with the most right answers are now eligible to win one of three trips to a YACC event of their choice in the next year. That's a pretty cool prize!
The night ended thoughtfully and low-key after all the highs and lows of the day. Some people played board games, some people got pizza, and some people sang karaoke, but the day ended thoughtfully.
Thank you all for letting your emotions out when you had them, comforting those who wanted comfort, respecting those who needed space, and enjoying the moments when things were light-hearted. You're beautiful people.
Posted on Nov 04, 2012 - 10:40 AM by angie
Just yesterday, many of the 100+ participants of Survivor Conference 2012 were strangers to one another. Today, they were talking about their memory issues and learning about one another's issues in the bedroom. From what we can tell, everyone even ended the long day on a great note.
The morning came gently with a pre-breakfast yoga session for anyone who was interested. Nikki Bergen's comfortable movements and the 20 yoga mats Sport Chek generously donated were welcomed by frequent practitioners and yoga newbies alike.
We spent the morning in workshops on brain fog with Dr. Heather Palmer and Jennifer Chown, anxiety with Dr. Norma D'Agostino and Karine Chalifour, insurance with Glen Oliver, and learning about the 360 Awareness Tool for supporters with Frédéric Messier.
The brain fog workshop was so popular we had to add another large session and we're sure people would have still been interested in more time with the topic. We were posting messages on Facebook and Twitter during the event, and some of the key messages were:
Friday's schedule also offered a little bit of time to do whatever you wanted. We organized trips to the Hockey Hall of Fame and the CN Tower, some people went shopping, and others just explored downtown Toronto. Yuri came toward the end to lead a session of Qi Gong for anyone who was back at the hotel. It was just a great time to relax and unwind after the morning.
The main event this evening was Dr. Anne Katz's keynote address on sexual health. It was a topic that could have been uncomfortable, but she didn't give anyone the chance to worry about it. She dove right in, made us feel at ease, and inspired the group to seek action and open lines of communication with their partners for a healthy sexual relationship.
Some of her highlights were:
I could go on and on and on, but she's also offering two workshops on Sunday so I'm sure there will be plenty of other words of wisdom to pass along. Once again, check out our Facebook page and Twitter feed for all the notes.
The evening wrapped up with a game night. Groups formed to play Apples To Apples, Jenga, Popcorn (Charades meets Taboo with a twist--the red sheet below is the twist), and some game that combined Pictionary and Broken Telephone and created tears of laughter.
Thank you to all of the workshop organizers for all the amazing information; Nikki and Yuri for helping us move; and the SC2012 participants for being so awesome, open, and ready for what we have planned.
We hope you're all ready for more on Saturday!
P.S. Song of the day
Posted on Nov 03, 2012 - 06:02 AM by angie
Day one of Survivor Conference 2012 brought together a lot of old friends, inspired people to make new ones, and took it pretty easy on us, really.
The Conference started with dinner. The Radisson Admiral did an amazing job accommodating our dietary restrictions and pulled off a mean meal of chicken, beef, salads, spring rolls, dumplings, beautiful desserts, and more. While the food was good, the best part about dinner was seeing how people were interacting and reconnecting.
Tracy even told me the conversation around her table was not one she ever expected to have, and would never expect to have again in any other scenario. You guys did a good job at warming her up for the rest of the weekend!
Geoff spent a few minutes addressing the group before opening night got underway. He shared a quote from Leo Buscaglia that says, “The person who risks nothing, has nothing, and is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.”
That was a great message in a room of over 100 people as everyone was testing the waters to see how they would feel over the next few days.
After dinner, we played some icebreakers to help people learn a little more about each other. Shali led games such as “Stand up if” and group trivia.
“Stand up if” is exactly what it sounds like. Shali would ask questions—some cancer-related, some not—and people would stand up if it applied to them. Questions such as “Stand up if you’re a supporter,” “Stand up if you are doing something to help young adults with cancer” solicited big rounds of applause, which really made the game more powerful than we expected.
The night ended fairly early since travel times and time zones had an impact on energy levels, and we want everyone to get the most out of tomorrow’s workshops.
See you in the morning!
Posted on Nov 02, 2012 - 03:15 AM by angie
We are excited to tell you about our first confirmed keynote speaker, Dr. Anne Katz.
Here's her bio:
My professional life is focused on providing information, education and counseling to people with cancer and their partners about sexual changes that can occur during and after treatment.
There is another important aspect to this work; I want every cancer patient to be able to have a discussion about sexuality with their health care providers. And so I travel across North America (as well as Europe and the Caribbean!) teaching health care providers to ask their patients about this important part of quality of life.
Learn more about Dr. Katz on her website.
Posted on Aug 06, 2012 - 10:41 AM by angie
That's right folks! We're ready to roll on to the 6th Annual Survivor Conference in Toronto, ON from November 1-5, 2012. That gives you 122 days to get time off work, pick out your favourite pjs, and prepare yourselves for four days of life-changing experiences.
With all the buzz we've seen on Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere so far, we have a feeling spaces will run out quickly. Remember, the Conference is open to alumni and is kind of like a little YACC reunion. That means if you're a cancer survivor who was diagnosed between 15 and 39 and are currently between 18- and 39-years-old, you should really get your application in! You can get the application forms here.
We are working with some new and familiar faces for our workshops and presentations and we'll be sharing those details here once they're confirmed. The earlier we know who's coming, the better we can try to tailor the program.
Ok, we think that's it for now! We can't wait to see you!
Posted on Jun 21, 2012 - 09:44 AM by angie
It has been one week since I returned home from the Survivor Conference 2011 in Ottawa. I'm still basking in the warmth of memories from the event and feeling immensely thankful to be a member of the YACC family. I have attended three Retreats and two Conferences since 2007 and am always amazed at the depth of connection that is able to happen in such a relatively short timeframe. I was a little nervous that we may lose some of that intimacy this year based on the significant jump in the number of attendants. However, I was delighted to see that we still functioned as a close-knit family--albeit a much larger family!
All weekend, I observed people opening themselves up and sharing stories and intimate details about their trials and triumphs with cancer. In closing circle, I heard 95 people describe what they were taking home from the Conference--strength, courage, connectedness, inspiration, and more.
I saw the beginnings of new lifelong friendships and the strengthening of existing bonds. So even though it was impossible to get to know every single person within the four days, I was thankful that there were still pockets of the intimacy I value so much. It was also great to feel the buzz of energy that comes from having 80 young adult cancer survivors in one room. Very powerful!
When I came back to Nova Scotia, my friends and family asked me for some of the highlights from the Conference. To be honest, the question kind of stumped me because there were too many to choose from!
I loved walking into the main room for supper on Thursday and seeing everyone there chatting away like old friends. Roughly 50 per cent of the people in the room had never been to a YACC event, and I loved how quickly they just integrated into the group.
On Friday, I spent the afternoon doing video interviews with survivors and facilitators. I felt extremely privileged to hear their stories. I'm still struggling to process the intensity of emotions they stirred up in me, but ultimately these interviews filled me with inspiration and an appreciation for each moment we have on this earth.
These feelings were amplified after hearing Geoff's story on Friday night. He said two things that really struck a chord with me: 1) One per cent is not zero per cent and 2) Statistics are historic, not a a forecast. Simple concepts that carry a world of hope.
On Saturday, the highlight for me was the walk to the Parliament Buildings. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. It was empowering to walk with such an incredible group of young adults. As cars drove by and honked, I wondered if they had a true sense of what they were seeing. Were we just a bunch of strangers in matching shirts walking for a random cause? Or were they able to see beyond the surface and appreciate the profoundness of what we represented--the battles we had won that enabled us to be there on that gorgeous sunny day, walking along the Canal? I was so proud of everyone for participating in the walk, especially those who were coping with fatigue and other physical challenges. Great work everyone!
On Sunday, the highlight was closing circle and the banquet at Johnny Farina's. I had some great conversations over an excellent meal, and learned a new game called "Guess that body part" using a digital camera. I also had a blast dancing to '80s hits; what a great note to end the conference on!
Throughout the conference, I really treasured the time with my small group for check-ins and check-outs. Similar to doing the interviews, I felt like I was given a window into people's lives and really gained an appreciation for the richness that comes from our diversity and complexities as individuals in addition to our shared experiences as young adult cancer survivors. I was really struck by the balance each person had learned to establish between being fragile and vulnerable, while at the same time being incredibly strong and courageous. I also loved watching the group members care for one another and felt thankful that despite the countless things cancer can take away from us, it is so often a catalyst for the most genuine human connections we'll ever know.
Finally, the conference reaffirmed for me how much I love my colleagues at YACC--the St. John's core staff members and the wonderful facilitators from across the country. I love working with people who are so passionate and dedicated to helping others. I definitely gained a new level of respect for the YACC team after seeing how much work happens behind the scenes to carry out these phenomenal events.
So until next time, I hope you all made a fairly smooth transition back into your lives post-Conference. I look forward to staying in touch through Facebook, Skype, email, or (when possible) hanging out in person! Big love to all of you!
Posted on Nov 15, 2011 - 10:13 AM by Shali
The final full day of the Conference featured a presentation on The Power of One by Dr. Anthony Fields. He spoke to delegates about the power they each have to make changes to the healthcare system and for young adults dealing with cancer in Canada.
After another round of workshops on brain fog, physical fitness post treatment, and becoming engaged with YACC, all 95 attendees formed YACC's largest-ever closing circle to finish up the serious parts of the weekend.
Everyone participated, learned, and listened for long enough, and the weekend concluded with a night of celebration at Sunday night's banquet which included dinner at Johnny Farina and dancing the night away.
We hope you all had a wonderful weekend of community building and recharging, and we can't wait to see you again. Safe travels!
Posted on Nov 07, 2011 - 03:07 AM by angie
We had a great keynote this morning by Scott Adams on taking care of your body while you're dealing with cancer.
SC2011 delegates then split up for more workshops on yoga, physical fitness after treatment, brain fog, and becoming engaged with YACC. Since the workshop sessions have restricted numbers, some of the workshops are offered more than once this weekend to allow ample opportunity for everyone to benefit from the knowledge of our fantastic speakers.
This afternoon featured the Survivor Climb, a newer tradition that has spawned off of Geoff's original Climb on Signal Hill in St. John's. In 2009, the Climb became a part of the Conference when the delegates, facilitators, and YACC staff drove back from Salmonier Line to climb together for the first time. We continued the tradition last year in St. John's, but had to modify things a little for the flat(ter) Ottawa terrain.
Participants walked five kilometres from the hotel to Parliament Hill where they held a special ceremony at the Confederation Flame. Check back next week for more details on the Climb; the recap will be much better than what we can include from our remote posting location.
We'll see you tomorrow!
Posted on Nov 06, 2011 - 02:18 AM by angie
Things got underway at Survivor Conference 2011 today with keynote speakers and workshops.
Heather Palmer delivered her keynote on brain fog in the morning, Brain blips and other cognitive changes associated with cancer
Delegates then spent the afternoon in workshops on yoga, dealing with brain fog, physical activity while in treatment, and being supportive.
Frederic Messier held a workshop on what supporters need to know
Geoff shared his story in the evening before the freetime and games night commenced to remind people why he started YACC.
Another great day in the bag, with more to come this weekend!
Posted on Nov 05, 2011 - 03:00 AM by angie
Since we can't all be at SC2011, the YACC staff on the ground in Ottawa will be sending images back to HQ to let us in on what's going on. We'll post them here on the SC2011 news feed to give you an idea of what happens at a Survivor Conference.
The shirts are ready for registration!
You will be able to follow along on Twitter by searching #SC2011 or following @yacancercanada. Get involved and let us know what you're doing and how it's going on Cooper Street!
Here are a couple of tidbits from last night:
Make sure to check back next week for an official review of the weekend.
Posted on Nov 04, 2011 - 12:11 PM by angie
Hey folks! We have been getting some questions about what to expect at the Conference. This is awesome for one main reason: It means we're growing.
The Conference was usually attended by YACC alumni who knew what to expect from a YACC event. Now, we have about a 50/50 split with new and returning survivors. Not only do we have more new faces, we have more people than ever before! The Conference has nearly doubled this year!
It's a great indication of what's going to happen around here in the coming years, and it's letting us know we've got to get in gear and get our schedule nailed down as early as possible. While we will still reserve the right to modify the schedule as needed, here's what you can expect to experience.
*Workshops will be pre-selected by you and will feature topics such as brain fog, physical movement and cancer, supporting someone with cancer, yoga, and getting involved.
We hope that whet's your appetite a little for information on what to expect in Ottawa! Just 22 more days!
Posted on Oct 12, 2011 - 06:44 AM by angie
Have you all noticed the logo for Survivor Conference 2011? I just wanted to take a minute to draw your attention to it, give credit to Duncan de Young for designing it, and let you know what it means for you.
If you're going to SC2011 in Ottawa, you'll see this logo on the effects we will provide. It will serve to remind you of the time you spent in Ottawa with Young Adult Cancer Canada and the significance of Parliament Hill for this particular conference (more on that at another time). It will be on your t-shirts, programs, banner, signage, and more.
This logo will be the symbol of the four days you'll spend with this unique group of people--sharing stories you've never told, gaining perspectives you've never considered, and finding people who "get it" in a way you didn't know was possible. There was a different logo last year, and it will look like something else in 2012. This one belongs to you, SC2011.
We're getting very excited to head to the nation's capital to meet, greet, and grow our YACC family.
Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions! We want you to be as comfortable as possible when you get there in 51 sleeps!
Posted on Sep 13, 2011 - 11:01 AM by angie
Scott Adams will be attending this year's Survivor Conference to explain the role of exercise in protecting yourselves throughout treatment and in getting back to "life in the fast lane." Here's what he has to say about his presentation:
I know that trying to sift through all the conflicting information about physical fitness can be extremely discouraging. From battling fatigue to preventing long-term health complications, I will do my best to ensure that everyone walks away with a solid understanding of how something as simple as exercise can have a tangible and lasting impact on your lives.
Working as an Exercise Physiologist and the Young Adult Program Coordinator for Hope & Cope and the McGill AYA Oncology Program at the Jewish General Hospital, I have the privilege of helping Montreal's young adult cancer community overcome the complex challenges that they face. Among several ongoing exercise oncology research projects that I am involved in, I am currently wrapping up a project looking at the impact of cancer and chemotherapy on nervous system and cardiovascular function in young adults (so, don’t hesitate to get a little "nerdy with it" during our Q&A sessions!).
My life was forever changed during my first, of two, YACC experiences (Retreat Yourself East, summer ‘09), when I had my eyes opened to this world of compassion and courage. Later that year, I had a chance to reconnect and meet some of YACC’s extended family at the Survivor Conference 2009. Although I’m going to miss the rock, I can’t wait for round three! See you in Ottawa.
Posted on Sep 02, 2011 - 12:43 PM by angie
We're pleased to announce all the spaces are filled for the Survivor Conference! There's going to be a big group of you in Ottawa, and we can't wait!
We're going to connect with new and old friends, strengthen our community, climb Parliament Hill, and learn how to make the rest of our lives the best of our lives from here on out. We'll have ideas on how to get fit and take care of your body, how to manage your emotions, and what to do when you're finding it difficult to move beyond cancer.
We have set up a wait list, so don't despair if you haven't yet sent in your application. As these things go, we're sure some of those spaces will free up as the date draws nearer. The faster you can get your application to email@example.com, the better your chances will be of attending the event!
Posted on Aug 12, 2011 - 11:52 AM by angie
Heather Palmer will make her first trip to the Survivor Conference this fall to speak about cancer-related brain fog. She is an experienced speaker who runs cancer-related brain fog across the country, and is looking forward to meeting more young adult cancer survivors in order to gain insight to serve them better.
"I feel that although cancer-related brain fog is a big topic, experienced by many cancer survivors, it is not well understood or addressed by healthcare professionals, the public, and the survivors themselves. Rather than just accepting the cognitive changes often associated with cancer, I think it is important that people realize there is something that can be done about it," she said.
She hopes SC2011 delegates will "get a sense of relief when they discover that cognitive difficulties associated with cancer are quite common and experienced by many…Most importantly, I want them to know that, with practice, they can regain cognitive function they may have felt was lost for good."
Heather's talk will help you identify the symptoms, learn a bit about how the brain works, and gain a set of tools that will help you manage any cognitive changes you may be experiencing.
Keep a lookout for her friendly face since she has said, "I am looking forward to returning home with lots of email addresses, phone numbers, good memories, and some new BFFs!"
Posted on Aug 05, 2011 - 07:21 AM by angie
Karine is currently away at the Retreat so I don't have a current total of how many applications we have, but I know it's turning into a lot! The last count I have says we have about 40 applications already, and about 50 per cent of them are from new people we've never met!
This is just a reminder to any alumni that if you snooze getting your application in, you might miss out on a spot at the Conference. If you're interested in joining us in Ottawa, head on over to the Apply section and fill out your form.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Posted on Jul 29, 2011 - 01:27 PM by angie
We have already received nearly 40 applications for SC2011 in Ottawa, ON and we are so excited to meet everyone! Yes, meet, because there's an unusually large number of applicants who have not yet attended a YACC event (alumni, better hurry on with those application forms). Either way, new or old, we are looking forward to welcoming new survivors and supporters and seeing all the familiar faces we don't see often enough.
With so many applications so quickly, and so many new people to introduce to our processes, we thought we'd take a moment to answer some of the bigger questions here. Please contact Karine at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are wondering about anything we haven't addressed here.
We appreciate the offer, and know how relaxing it can be to go home to your own bed, families, pets, and stuff at the end of the day, but it is crucial to the Conference experience that you spend the whole time at the hotel. We have tried this in the past, and even the participants have said they found it was less ideal. A lot of the bonding and connecting happens during free time and in the evenings when the program is finished, so it's really in the best interest for your experience and the group's experience to stay.
Yes, we have a few ways you can help reduce the cost of your flight to Ottawa.
We offer a travel assistance subsidy through a limited budget set aside to help those who require some financial assistance. You can apply here. Basically, depending on where you live, we can offer a set amount or 50 per cent of the cost (whichever is less). We expect you will be responsible with the allowance and book your flights early and economically to help spread our budget over more participants.
We are also working on some other options and will let you know what they are through this blog when they're ready.
It is important for all participants to attend the conference for the entirety of the four days (Novemeber 3-7). Please contact us if you have already applied but have scheduling issues.
Yes, if you know a friend of yours is coming to the Conference, let Karine know and she will do her best to put you in the same room.
Some rooms at Cartier Place have three beds, so it might be possible but we can't guarantee it. You can make your request to Karine and she will try her best to accommodate it.
There are possibilities to park your car for the weekend, but there are fees related to the Parking ($17 a day). If you don't have other choices and the cost is a problem for you, let Karine know and we will work on a solution. We still encourage you to have someone drop you off at the hotel or carpool with some friends to cut the cost.
For those of you arriving earlier and staying later, you need to book your own room for the extra days and ask for the “Young Adult Cancer Canada” group block. Depending on the room given to you, we will make every effort not to have you change rooms when the Conference starts. Rates for rooms vary with the type of rooms you book ($95-$149). The group rate accessible from October 28 to November 14.
We recognize the contributions many parents make during a cancer journey, but we also recognize the restrictions in attitude and behaviour some people have around their parents as well.
To get the most out of the Conference experience, you have to be free to say what you want to say about topics you may not discuss with your parents like your relationships, your concerns about your future, and your feelings on the whole cancer experience. Even if you have an open relationship with your parents, their presence could hinder someone else from speaking candidly out of respect.
Ideally, you should invite someone who experienced the journey with you, who has questions or concerns about what you went through, who is interested in learning more about how you felt during treatment in a way you might not have been comfortable discussing before, who you will count on to help you move beyond your cancer, and who you're comfortable discussing everything with. This could be a sister, close friend, spouse, cousin, etc. Please contact us if you have further questions or concerns.
Posted on Jul 22, 2011 - 03:45 AM by angie
For all of you who have recently attended Retreat Yourself East and the YACC Expedition and are anxiously awaiting the next program, and to those who have heard about the Conference and couldn't wait to apply, the time has come!
Registration is now open for the 2011 Survivor Conference in Ottawa, ON from November 3-7, 2011. For four days, we will connect, grow, and explore from the nation's capital.
The conference will be held at the Cartier Place Suite Hotel, a quiet place on a side street in the east end of the city. Angie stopped in during a recent trip and was amazed with the kind comments she heard in the lobby while people were checking out. Each room is equipped with a small kitchen (bonus!), and we're close enough to the main attractions to make our free time that much more rewarding.
Space is limited, so send in your applications today!
All images from the Cartier Place Suite Hotel website.
Posted on Jul 11, 2011 - 04:47 PM by angie
Yesterday, I started to write about the Survivor Conference which happened from November 4-8, 2010 in beautiful St. John's, NL. Things were going okay but I was struggling a lot trying to put the experience into words. Well, I guess the universe felt I was "off" because I (or it) did something (not sure what, so I am a bit paranoid today) that erased my entire text. After some bad words came out of my mouth, most of them in French (Mother tongue they say...although my mom is not the one who taught me those specific words) I decided to leave it and get back to it the next day.
Wise decision. It is still a difficult exercise as the conference was full of emotions, connections, and growth which are not easy to describe in words, but I will attempt to transfer some of what happen to you as best as possible.
The first word that comes to mind is profound. The 2010 experience was profound in many ways. Every year, as we plan the conference our goal is to build a program that will allow connections, sharing, and learning. The conference is our opportunity to build a strong community of survivors and supporters and try and help them make the rest of their lives the best of their lives. It is also where we want to give information and tools so participants can go home and help raise the awareness on the issues facing young adults and also share about their experience with YACC with the "outside world." Post conference, we feel these objectives were achieved and we are so excited by the possible outcomes!
Another word related to the 2010 experience is guidance. We were able to get there again this year because we had a fabulous group of committed individuals. We could feel the tightness of the group and its unity from day one. Respect, and ability to listen and give were omnipresent and gave colour to the weekend.
We also had the chance to work with an incredible and dedicated team of facilitators and I want to take this opportunity to thank them publicly. None of this would be possible if it was not for those generous and skilled ladies (sorry, only women this year). So here it is, a heartfelt thank you to Norma D'Agostino, Megan McLoed, Deborah Bridgman, Bonnie Lang, and Christine Skakum for your time, flexibility, expertise, advice, and feedback. Thank you also for your hearts; you are amazing.
In addition, speakers came and offered great presentations on topics we know are important to young adults. Dr. Rob Rutledge got us breathing deeply with a guided meditation and also look at the stressors in our lives and how we deal with them. Chef Jay Holecek, directly from San Francisco (well, as directly as you can get to NL) shared his view on food as a crucial component in healing our bodies.
We were also able to offer workshops so participants could learn skills to help in their daily lives. Chef Jay got participants to juice it up with a great blending session. Who knew you could drink a mix of beets, apples, spinach, almonds, coco milk, ginger, and more? And like it? Bonnie offered a sweating functional fitness session and Mikey got participants to think of their stories to limit awkward moments with people you have not seen in a long time. These sessions were not only informative, they were inspiring.
Another word to describe the weekend would be healing. The group was very caring and nurturing and our activities made sure we took the time and made the space to heal some wounds. The Survivor Climb was surely one powerful moment of healing. Climbing Signal Hill was something, but thanks to the initiative of Kelly (a great survivor in our community) we were not only able to use the Climb as a ritual to let go of something we needed to let go of, but also as a beautiful way to honour the survivors who could not be with us this year. Powerful.
The Wrong Way to Hope screening was another healing and inspiring moment. Thank you Mikey for bringing this to the young adult community. What a gift.
Young adults are creative and inspiring and we were lucky enough to witness that not only with the movie, but also with Daniel Stolfi's show: Cancer Can't Dance Like This on Sunday night. We laughed and were deeply touched by his performance. Thanks Dan (and Jen) for bringing this to SC2010.
Finally, SC2010 allowed us to take the engagement of our community to the next level. For those who participated to last year's conference, you may remember Survivors in Action being introduced to you. This year we were ready to bring on concrete ways to get involved. Thank you all for embarking on this boat with us and paddling together, one stroke at a time.
I guess I can finish this blog by saying I am thankful. Thankful I got through writing it, but MOSTLY thankful I am part of such a strong, vibrant, inspiring, and growing community. Together, we will change the world. It's already started.
Posted on Nov 17, 2010 - 05:48 PM by Karine
For those of you who have been to a YACC event before, you know that building a menu that will please 30 people or more is not always an easy task. I would even say it is nearly impossible. In the past, we had to make the best of what was offered at the venue and we did not always have all the latitude we wished we had. The conference has grown over the years and now we have to feed over 65 people while taking allergies, food intolerance, and special needs into consideration.
Building a healthy menu is also challenging when you have a fixed menu to work with. This year, we are changing things a little and bringing them to a whole other level. With the help of conference speaker Chef Jay Hocelek and the catering company at the Comfort Inn, we built a menu that will be the healthiest we've had so far. Jay has knowledge that we do not have and the caterer has been really flexible.
Working with Jay made me realize that the definition of what is healthy is wide and not necessarily the same for all. We have been taught to eat products from the four groups all our life. Quantities of fruits and vegetables may vary, but in general, that is what we know is healthy. But in 2010, with all the transformations food goes through, is this still accurate? Should we eat fish, red meat, whole wheat, bread, and dairy as much as we do? We hear more and more we should eat organic as much as possible. If it's not possible or affordable to us, what does that mean? These are only a few of the questions I've had since I started to work with Jay on the conference menu. Many more will come, I know!
I am looking forward to learning more about the alternatives we have to eat healthy and still feel satisfied and energized!
Concretely, this means the 2010 Survivor Conference won't include, fries, fish and chips, gravy, tons of bread, pies and unnecessary sugars. With the help of Jay, we will explore what healthy menu can really mean and how we can make the best out of what is available. We know healthy living is a priority to the survivors and supporters withing YACC's family and we wanted to try and be as coherent as possible in our approach this year. It makes no sense to have presentations on healthy choices and go to lunch eating a big portion of creamy pasta and a piece of chocolate cake (as much as we can enjoy those at times). We heard your request and are committed in trying to change this for the better.
Following the conference, I am hoping to post more information and articles on health, nutrition, and exercise at the request from all survivors we are connected with and a challenge for all of us.
Until than, take some time to think about how you eat, what you eat, and why you eat it.
Posted on Oct 14, 2010 - 05:42 AM by Karine
Because we know you survivors and supporters out there are interested in learning more about fitness and physical health, we’ve invited Bonnie Lang to come to the SC2010 and share her passion as a personal trainer with you.
Going to the Gym is not possible or accessible for you? You want to learn how to get fit at home? This conference might bring you answers to those questions! Bonnie will be there to help you and share her expertise in a fun and simple way. Some of you already know her and have benefited from her tips, but if you want to learn more…here’s her little Bio.
I am a 25-year-old, happily married, Californian and work in the Calgary area as a mobile personal trainer. Not many can say that they love their job, but I am passionate about sharing workout tips and motivating people to eat thoughtfully, live fully, and be well from a holistic perspective rather than a weight-centered perspective. My goal is to show people that fitness can be manageable, simple, and fun for the everyday person and should ultimately become a habit as it increases your overall quality of life.
Another aspect of my fitness philosophy is that I incorporate High Intensity Training (HIT) into my personal training. These are simple, compound movements that recruit more muscle than isolated muscle movements and use primarily four moves: squats, pushups, dead lifts, and press-ups. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism and the more calories you burn -- it's as simple as that! HIT workouts are functional; they improve your everyday life and tasks from lifting your suitcase into the overhead bin to squatting down to lift up your child. These workouts get you sweating, breathing hard, and wiped out in roughly 18 to 30 minutes! New studies show that most people can focus for about 20 minutes of quality workout time; the importance of quality cannot be overstated. Quality over quantity in your workouts will improve your quality of life.
Another tool I use is the TRX Suspension Trainer, on which I became certified and have never looked back! It's an incredible, versatile piece of at-home, go-anywhere equipment that gives you a total body workout and highlights core strength in every movement that you do. It combines strength, flexibility, and metabolic training to give you an intense, full-body workout in a new way! This tool helps work your entire body and keeps fitness fun which is always important so that you keep with it (consistency is key above all).
My husband (Mikey) and I love rock climbing, camping, back country skiing, adventuring together, and good conversations over good food with others. I look forward to enjoying the weekend with you, whether you’re interested in how to make a brownie recipe healthier or how to properly do a squat! Let's dig deep not only on the outside but on the inside as well!
I encourage you to visit Bonnie's Blog and learn even more about fitness and amazing healthy recipies!
Posted on Sep 17, 2010 - 11:36 AM by Karine
Sunday night at the Banquet we'll do it LIKE THIS with Daniel Stolfi!
We had the great pleasure to meet Daniel at Retreat Yourself East 2009 where he connected for the first time with YACC and our amazing community. For those of you who have been to a retreat before, you'll know that we usually hold a talent show on the last day. Well in 2009 we did and we got to see a little portion of Daniel's show and we were all AMAZED! lucky us, we will get to see it all this time! Here's a little about Daniel:
In March of 2008, Daniel Stolfi was diagnosed with Acute Non -Hodgkin's T-Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer that would need equally aggressive chemotherapy treatment over the following two years of his life. Just when his acting career in the big city was starting to take off, he needed to put it all on hold to embark on the most physically, mentally, and emotionally draining journey of his life. While battling cancer, Daniel lost his hair, his appetite, his strength and his sex drive. The most tragic of all, he lost his ability and his desire to dance. In Cancer Can't Dance Like This, Daniel invites the audience into his fight with a number of comedic monologues, musical numbers, and character portrayals of his lost attributes to the disease. The question: can cancer out dance the dancing machine?
Although he paints a merciless picture, Dan's story is told with a thrill and lust for the finer (but also the necessary) things in life like no other survival story ever performed on stage. He has the courage to recount the pain he endured during his treatment process and does so with his own saving grace -- the fine art of comedy.
It will be a wonderful evening and a great way to close the "official" program of our 2010 Edition of Survivor Conference.
Are you registered yet? No! Seriously, what are you waiting for? Only a few spots left.
Posted on Aug 16, 2010 - 07:00 AM by Karine
Introducing to you the amazing Workshop with Chef Jay Holecek
If you are registered and confirmed to come to the conference, you will have the unique chance to spend Saturday morning with the young, dynamic, and original chef Jay Holecek!
Growing up in a variety of settings around America exposed Jay to many traditional practices but it wasn't until he suffered illness and spent years neglecting his health while pursuing business success that he learned food has a direct impact on the health of our bodies, relationships, communities, and the environment.
Drawing on the wisdom of traditional cultures and current scientific studies, his passion is to educate, inspire, and nourish those in need. He views whole foods as preventative medicine and he stays up to date on current food issues and health concerns in order to create safe, sustainable menus. Jay loves to create new recipes share them with hungry friends and speak excitably about food with anyone who asks.
Currently he is providing a variety of services to individuals, organizations, and institutions around the country while being based in the San Francisco Bay area. He combines his training, knowledge and passion into a "therapeutic chef" service. This has enabled him to work with various individuals, catering companies, restaurants, and other organizations to provide menu consulting, recipe development, nutritional and cooking demonstrations and classes, resources, and encouragement.
Jay views whole foods as preventative medicine and a window into our lives that we can use to develop healthy relationships to every other important part of life. He stays up to date on current food issues and research and incorporates them into some of the wise food traditions to create the healthiest, most enjoyable meals. His approach incorporates environmentally supportive cooking practices that focus on healing the body, mind, and spirit, emphasizing the use of traditionally prepared, primarily organic, plant-based whole foods and humanely raised and pastured animal products -- the way God intended it.
Cooking for Health
With a unique ability and experience in both the traditional cooking profession and the holistic health field, Jay's services are focused on cooking for health, not just flavor or appearance as so many other cooks do. This approach places the health of the whole experience as priority in sourcing, preparing, serving, and discarding of excesses. By cooking and even living this way, one gains an even deeper satisfaction of what we hunger for by knowing that what we choose to eat is contributing to the health of everyone involved.
Visit his site
If this does not make you want to come, I am not sure what will!
Posted on Aug 02, 2010 - 07:00 AM by Karine
It is July 19, so as promised, here are some more details about the Survivor Conference 2010.
This year, we are making some changes that we hope will help you navigate the conference program. The first major change is the location. The conference is taking place in a hotel just beside St. John's Airport. Upon your arrival, you will be able to get your conference package at the information/welcome desk open which will be open all day on Thursday, November 4. Someone from YACC will be available to answer questions and help you.
Also, based on your comments from last year, and based on the connections we made throughout the year, we have speakers lined up who will come offer interesting, stimulating, and inspiring workshops.
First in line: Dr. Rob Rutledge, MD, FRCPC
Spending some time with Dr. Rob: Learning how to heal while integrating the mind, body and spirit and the Western Medicine.
Dr. Rutledge is a Radiation Oncologist at the Nova Scotia Cancer Centre and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. His specialties include breast, prostate, and pediatric cancers. His research interests in psychosocial and spiritual oncology, health promotion, and professional caregiver health have resulted in dozens of academic presentations internationally.
In 1999, Rob co-founded the Skills for Healing weekend retreats, a support group program experienced by over 1000 cancer patients and family members in 14 cities across Canada and abroad. The retreats teach a powerful and integrated approach to the cancer diagnosis and draw on the vast teachings of the world's spiritual traditions.
Rob is a dynamic and passionate speaker. He has touched the hearts and minds of thousands with his compassion and wisdom by presenting scientific knowledge and providing insights gained from serving people dealing with life threatening diseases. Doctors Nova Scotia presented him with the 2006 Health Promotion Award in recognition of his contribution to physician health and health promotion in oncology patients.
Rob is the founder and chair of the Healing and Cancer Foundation, a charity whose mission is to empower people with science, wisdom, and compassion. Through documentaries and sharing the retreat teachings through the web, Healing and Cancer hopes to facilitate healing in those affected by cancer at the levels of body, mind, and spirit.
We will get to spend a morning with Rob and will also get to practice some of those skills.
Posted on Jul 19, 2010 - 10:00 AM by Karine
I am so fully and completely excited about the Survivor Conference happening in St.John's, NL from November 4-8, 2010, you have no idea. I just finished creating the content for the web and registrations are now open, to apply!
Many changes coming this year based on your comments, suggestions, and also new opportunities that presented themselves in 2009-2010. I literally had to hold myself back from telling everyone about every little thing coming this year but after a chat with my teammates, who were much wiser and calmer, (I am telling you, I am like a five-year-old in a candy shop excited!), we decided to keep the suspense a little and let the information spill one little drop at a time
Reading through our Home page, you will see that the location has changed. This year the Survivor Conference will take place in the city, just a few minutes from the Airport and historic downtown. Again, this year will feature speakers with an expertise that will leave you speechless and/or will bring up questions and light up your neurons.
We have inspiring activities prepared, like the Survivor Climb. Together, I am sure that we will move mountains -- or at least a hill!
Also, we have a special evening cooking up for you. I am not saying more, you’ll have to apply and see.
Many of the amazing facilitators you know and love will also be there to share these precious moments with you, support you, and guide you.
Every year, with your help and constructive feedback, we try and make the event better and more fitted to your needs. I think we did it this year. If you are not convinced, you’ll have to come and see for yourself.
Spaces are limited, so you better hurry.
Can’t wait to spill all the scoops!
See you on the Rock
Posted on Jul 06, 2010 - 10:30 AM by Karine
Get your calendar, agenda, timer set for November 4-8, 2010 for our next Survivor Conference!
The 2009 Conference was really great and it was the biggest reunion of young adult cancer survivors and supporters to date. We are hoping to grow a little again this year and get up to 75 people! For 2010, we will bring the conference to the city. The location will be in St. John's at the Comfort Inn Hotel. The location is perfect: minutes from the airport with a free shuttle and 10 minutes from downtown St-John's.
Many of you were part of the adventure last year and, based on your suggestions and comments we will work on making this year’s event even better. The year has just begun and the excitement is already palpable in the office.
As usual, we will have tools and ways to help you get to this don't-want-to-miss-it weekend, but until the details are on, start saving! Lookout for seat sales (they can be pretty amazing) and we will keep you posted with all the details.
We will let you know as soon as we are ready to take registrations.
Can't wait! 2010, here we come!
Posted on Jan 13, 2010 - 06:58 PM by Karine
Many months ago, we started to plan our Annual Survivor Conference and tried to imagine how great it would be if we had 60 participants. Well, now we can look back and say: We did it and it was some great!
From October 22-26, 2009, Young Adult Cancer Canada held its 3rd Annual Survivor Conference at The Wilds in Salmonier River, just outside of St. John's NL. We were very excited to welcome our survivor family to our beautiful home province of Newfoundland and Labrador. A total of 60 individuals (50 survivors and supporters, and 10 facilitators and staff) came from almost every province in Canada, only missing New Brunswick this time.
We were blessed to be in the presence of the beauty and inspiration that makes this group so amazing. We shared wisdom, information, support, and even joined 300 others to climb Signal Hill for YACC's Annual Climb. The survivors were a diverse group at varying points in their own cancer journeys: with some still in treatment, some recent bone marrow transplant recipients, and with others out of treatment for a number of years. All were driven by the same energy, camaraderie, and hope for their fellow survivors. Witnessing their participation in the Climb touched many of our hearts deeply and was such a beautiful expression of what survivors and supporters go through every day. It snowed, rained, was even sunny at times, but no matter what the weather was, they conquered.
Again, faced with such an intense experience, words are never enough and they rarely express the emotions that come with it, so I will leave you with some of the wisdom that came out of the Survivor Conference from the participants themselves:
Self-care is not selfish
Greater Risk, greater rewards
Focus on smaller goals to attain larger goals
Cancer does not define who we are, we make our own definition
Tough times never last, tough people do.
Direction, not intention set the destination.
This is just a little glimpse of what happened during those four days: the love, the life, and the laughs were omnipresent all weekend.
Events like the Survivor Conference will not work if no one shows up, so we thank the courageous survivors and supporters for taking this leap of faith again this year. We also have to thank the wonderful facilitators that help each year with our events. We could not do this without their expertise, feedback, and support before, during, and after the Conference. To all of them a gigantic thank you!
We are already talking about next year and hopefully, we will get even more people; dare we dream 100 survivors? 'Til next year!
Posted on Nov 03, 2009 - 01:14 PM by Karine
It’s no secret anymore, this year at the conference; we will have the chance to hear Barry Green, a professional speaker from Newfoundland with lots of energy and lots of heart. The Survivor Conference is about taking some time to take care of ourselves, to learn, to share, to connect, and it’s also about community. We are so much stronger as a group. Try and break one pencil, easy. Try and break 50 pencils…good luck. If you can, let us know, maybe we could do a little fundraising activity with your talent .
Barry will open the conference with an inspiring talk bringing us energy and empowering us to work together to make things better for young adults (individually and as a community).
The tone will be given Thursday night and the rest of the weekend will be all about giving each otherâ€™s tools to make the rest of our life the very best it can be. I can’t wait to see you all; we are very close to a full house, only a few spots left…Close to 55 registered!!! Those late comers hurry up.
If you want to learn more on what Barry Green will talk about on Thursday night The_Unity_guy.pdf
Posted on Oct 14, 2009 - 11:46 AM by Karine
We just booked another amazing speaker from St. John's who will open our weekend with an inspiring talk. Mr. Barry L. Green has agreed to join us and share his expertise with our community. Barry describes himself as "The Unity Guy."
For 25 years, he has been working with businesses, government departments and agencies, community service organizations, universities, colleges and schools (from Vancouver to St. Johns and Seattle to Dallas) who seek to achieve greater identity, balance, poise and effectiveness for enhanced success “on and off the field.” He does that by helping forge a sense of real, tangible, taste-able unity of spirit, mission, and action that screams out “purposefulness is joyfulness.” Through it all, his vision in this process is “united we stand, no regrets.” If you want to learn more on Barry you can visit his website: Unity Guy
We will post a more detailed schedule soon, but here is a quick overview of the weekend:
Thursday, October 22, 2009:
Arrivals and opening of the Conference with Barry Green.
Friday, October 23, 2009:
Assessing where we are and where we want to be:
Carl George and his holistic approach to health. Fun time in perspective.
Some free time including possibilities like hikes, karaoke, games, fire (and by fire I mean bonfire, not burning down the place )
Saturday, October 24, 2009:
How do I get where I want to be? Life is a highway!??
The 10th Annual Climb of Signal Hill and free time (we will post more detail on the possibilities).
Dinner in the city.
Sunday, October 25, 2009:
Where is YACC and where does it want to be?
What if you wanted to get involved?
Optional workshops on support/awareness/fund development for young adults/free time
Closing the weekend
Free time and Banquet and more free time!!!
Monday, October 26, 2009:
Going back home, see you next year!
Finally, you probably already know, but the deadline for registration is Friday October 2nd, 2009 and there are only 15 spots left; you have to hurry up! If you are still hesitating, I strongly suggest you still send me your application. If anything happens and you see that you can't make it, I'll take your name off the list, but at least this will guarantee you a place.
Can’t wait to see you all!
Posted on Sep 16, 2009 - 04:03 PM by Karine
The answer: YACC’s 10th Annual Climb!
As you all know, registrations have started for our Survivor Conference happening from October 22-26, 2009 in St. John's, NL. In order to help you get to the Conference, we have travel assistance for those who need it, based on the province where you live. Knowing that the travel assistance, as helpful as it is, might not be enough, we have something else to offer you.
This year, YACC is celebrating its 10th Climb anniversary and the Climb happens to be on the same weekend as the Survivor Conference, on Saturday afternoon, October 24, 2009, what a beautiful coincidence! The Climb is approximately a 45 minute walk up Signal Hill, a historical hill downtown St. John's. The Climb is on a paved road (not involving getting lost in the woods, having to camp in the middle of the climb or rock climbing ).
We have decided to use this opportunity to help you raise some extra funds for your plane ticket! If you register and Climb Signal Hill with us, you could get family and friends to sponsor you. The money you raise (up to the amount of your plane ticket) will go towards your travel. Any money raised above your plane ticket will go into the travel assistance pot to help another young adult.
There is no obligation to do so, but if you are interested in adding a Climb to your amazing Survivor Conference weekend, we will make it happen for you. We included The Climb in our Conference schedule and it will be one of the options on Saturday afternoon. If you decide to raise some money and Climb with survivors, family members, and friends from St. John's and other communities in NL, you won't miss any scheduled program. We will get anyone interested to Signal Hill on Saturday afternoon and everyone back at the end of the day.
If physically, you are unable to Climb on foot, but still want to raise some money and be part of this symbolic event, you can still register. We are in the process of making the necessary arrangements to get any survivors unable to climb to the top of Signal Hill.
How do I register?
If you want information on the Climb, you can check our website http://www.youngadultcancer.ca/climb/ just don't register there (the general public will register through our site).
to search for your name and give by credit card. For all other donations, you may download a pledge sheet through your link and go to town! PLEASE NOTE: the physical pledge sheet is for OFFLINE donations only. DO NOT record your ONLINE donations on this form. If you ONLY have ONLINE donations, you DO NOT need to bring a pledge form with you the day of The Climb.
If you asked for travel assistance, we will still send you your cheque and we will keep track of your pledges and amount raised until the conference. After the event, we will send you a cheque with the extra money you raised, up to the total cost of your ticket. If you raised more than the cost of your ticket, the extra money will be added to our travel assistance budget and will help another young adult get to the conference.
Anyone interested in climbing Signal Hill can register and raise money for YACC. As you know, the majority of the money we raise yearly goes to support programs (Retreats, Conferences, Workshops, etc.). This could be an amazing way to raise awareness among your friends and family and also help yourself (and maybe someone else) get to the biggest young adult reunion in Canada.
You still have more than 2 months before the conference, who knows how much you could raise by then.
This year, YACC is dedicating The Climb to the survivors who are no longer with us. Some of them you have known, loved, been inspired by. You can Climb for yourself, someone you love, the cause, anything that gets your heart racing.
Posted on Aug 31, 2009 - 05:27 PM by Karine
I know, itâ€™s been a while, but it was worth it! Much more information is coming your way for our up-coming Conference. First of all, the program is getting more and more detailed and we will be able to post it soon on the web.
We are already half full. Only 30 spots left. I know it sounds like a lot, but knowing that we open the conference to every young adult in the country who is interested, it is quite small. If you have not already registered, I encourage you to apply as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, our â€œsexâ€ specialist Sylvie Aubin wonâ€™t be able to join us due to a scheduling conflict. We are sad, but we will keep connecting with Sylvie on future projects for sure. This change and the feedback we got from your application forms helped us create the program for this yearâ€™s conference. We are trying to come up with the perfect combination of connection, tools to move forward and inspiration to raise awareness and get fired up about the young adult community and what we can do to keep the flame alive.
I should be able to post our program in a couple of weeks, so keep checking our site. www.youngadultcancer.ca
I know many of you are planning your trip to Newfoundland and some of you are looking into staying a couple of extra days in beautiful St-Johnâ€™s. To help you plan, the Comfort Inn Hotel has set up a rate of $99 per night for survivors/supporters attending the Conference. If you chose to sleep there, you must be booked directly with them at 1.709.753.3500 as this rate is not offered through their central reservation system.
The Comfort Inn is just beside the Airport. If you want to go downtown, you would have to take a taxi (about a 10 minutes ride).
If you are interested, check out their website http://www.comfortinnstjohns.com/
If you need any help or information to plan your time in NL, I suggest you go on the following websites:
If you have any questions about the conference, connect with Karine at email@example.com
Canâ€™t wait to get wild at The Wilds.
Posted on Aug 31, 2009 - 04:19 PM by Karine
About a month ago, we posted our first official invitation for our next Survivor Conference. Since then, more than 20 of you have already registered and I keep receiving new forms every week! Itâ€™s really shaping out to be incredible! YOU have the power to make this event everything that it can be and will be. I donâ€™t want the pace of registration to slow down! With 20 in a month, we will quickly reach our maximum capacity of 60!
Try to picture this; 60 inspiring, fun, loving, informed and motivated survivors in the same roomâ€¦60 people sharing their story, what they have learned, what works, what doesnâ€™t.. 60 people being silly, relaxing, and having funâ€¦60 people invested and interested in the future of young adults, and working together in making the rest of their life, the best it can be. Do you see it? I do, and it looks amazing!
Many alumni survivors are registering and some new ones as well. Reading everybodyâ€™s forms, I feel the same energy. Itâ€™s filled with openness to see old friends and make new ones, to share and to try and put our heads together to make things better. Every facilitator we spoke to is excited and feels privilege to be part of it with all of you. At YACC, heads are bubbling, phones are ringing and we are all working together to get things ready for this big event.
If you have not registered yet, do. If you know a survivor who does not know about us, share the good news.
Canâ€™t wait! Can you?
Posted on Aug 07, 2009 - 04:35 PM by Karine
By the "Wannabe Newfoundlander"
For the past couple of months, besides getting used to living in a different province (almost feels like a different country some days, mostly because the ocean is everywhere), talking in English all the time, and decrypting some of the wonderful local Newfoundland expressions, I have been working on our upcoming Survivor Conference.
Like all our events, the closer it gets, the more excited we get. I have to say, I feel this year's conference is going to be different. Why? Not sure quite yet, but something is up!
First of all, we have doubled our capacity. This means that if the excitement is as contagious as it should be, we could have up to 60 survivors/supporters attending the weekend on the Rock! Knowing how incredible the previous conferences were with 30 survivors, can you imagine if this year we double everything? The inspiration, the information, and the support! My brain can't fathom that much amazingness.
The biggest young adult reunion in the country calls for excitement, don't you think? Also, once again, we have a group of really amazing facilitators and speakers who are psyched to make this year's conference the best it can be. While we're building the conference, we always keep in mind we want to help survivors make the rest of their life the best of their life. In order to do that, we have to make the conference the best it can be as well.
Many more things need to be done before the big weekend, many more surprises to come, many registrations need to be filled as well. In the mean time, I hope I gave my conference bug to some of you. The word is out, spread it!
Posted on Jul 13, 2009 - 03:16 PM by Karine