Localife Victoria

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Leader bios

Amber (She/Her)       

Hello old friends, new friends, and friends I haven’t met yet! My name is Amber Pywell. I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer with a follicular variant with metastases to my lymph nodes in 2015 at the age of 34, with a husband and three small kids at home. Soon after surgery and treatment, YACC found me, and I have been hooked ever since. I have experienced every event, and have volunteered at every opportunity. YACC came along when I needed it most, and gave me everything I never knew I needed, so I am beyond thrilled to help provide opportunities for you to experience the same thing. I’m basically an open book, and I’m here with no judgment, no advice, just acceptance and really big heart. Huzzah!

Roxanne (She/Her)

Hello! My name is Roxanne van Velzen. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 21. I was in the middle of what was supposed to be a fun summer of field courses to finish up my marine biology degree. I was registered to start another one year advanced diploma program in water quality in the fall as well. I am a very stubborn person by nature and this lead me to remain enrolled in a very vigorous full time program during my cancer journey. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy.

I felt super isolated in the early days of my diagnosis. I had chosen to go to university on the opposite side of the country from all my family and that decision seemed like a horrible mistake in the weeks after my diagnosis. But then I found YACC. Through YACC I was able to be supported and I found a little family I never knew I needed. I now have friends all across the country and right here where I live who truly just “get it.”

I am so excited to be part of Localife Victoria! I may be new to the island but I am thrilled to get to explore what it has to offer with fellow YACCers. Having a space where YACCers can be supported when they are down and celebrated when things are great is what our Localife will be. Whether you have had a busy day or it’s your first time leaving the house for a week, Localife will be a judgment free space for all.

I hope to provide a welcoming face for newcomers and a friendly familiar face for loyal Localifers.

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