Begin your holiday season of giving with a donation to Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) and help young adults move beyond a cancer diagnosis, like Heather.
On December 18, 2008, 27-year-old Heather was living and loving life. She was working at a job she loved, running a highland dance studio as a passion project, relishing in the marvels of married life, and adjusting to life with a new daughter—a child she hoped would become a big sister someday.
On December 19, Heather was told, “You have cervical cancer.” Instead of spending time with her young family, Heather was now scheduling medical appointments. Instead of talking to other new moms about making it through those sleepless nights, she found she had no one to talk to about what it meant to face cancer in her 20s.
Two years later, Heather realized just how much she no longer fit into life she had before. She closed her dance studio, she no longer loved her job, and she struggled with the fact that her diagnosis meant she couldn’t have more children. “My first step was to try to figure out how to rebuild myself and rediscover my path. This is when I found YACC.”
Heather attended YACC’s programs and became one of the first YACCtivists. Part of her role as a YACCtivist included sharing her story and talking about her challenges through YACC’s digital community. This experience helped Heather find a new career in radio marketing and communications, a role she has described as her “dream job.”
In 2019, Heather’s life made a complete 180 degree turn. “My fertility was the biggest loss I faced from having cancer, and after years of so much heartache, sadness, and uncertainty, my husband and I decided to adopt a child from his home country, South Africa. We welcomed our second child, a joyful and energetic four-year-old boy, to our family this past September,” she said. “My children—I can’t believe I get to say this as a plural—are everything I ever wanted and more.”
YACC’s digital community empowers young adults like Heather to begin to process their cancer experiences and reduce feelings of isolation through sharing their profiles or posting about challenges they face. The Rotary Club of St. John’s East has signed on to sponsor our Giving Tuesday campaign this year to help more young adults live a life they have always dreamed of.
“Rotary International is excited to support YACC’s digital community. We know this initiative will help more young adults living with, through, and beyond cancer connect with people who intimately know the challenges they are dealing with and can help celebrate when they are able to overcome obstacles.”
-Paddy Greene, Rotary Club of St. John’s East
Visit youngadultcancer.ca/heather to join Rotary in giving the gift of connection.
When you donate to YACC you are helping a person who is living with cancer come out of isolation, connect with others, and know they are not alone.
Live life. Love life.