#GivingTuesday: Give the gift of feeling normal

#GivingTuesday: Give the gift of feeling normal

When Paul Brace was diagnosed with stage IVa Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the end of 2017, he was launched into an unfamiliar world of fatigue, uncertainty, and anxiety.

“A cancer diagnosis at 32, at the tail end of one of the best years of my life was the last thing I wanted/expected. I quit a job that was unfulfilling and stale and traveled the world on a cruise ship as a sound technician. I then came home and landed the job I always wanted with a local radio station. In one year, I won the Music NL Media Person of the Year award and rebuilt my musical career. Then I had to put it on pause for treatment and recovery,” said Paul.

Once Paul received word that his cancer was in remission, he set out to make up for lost time by making a record, celebrating friends’ milestones, and travelling with his band throughout Eastern Europe. Despite his lust for life, the physical and psychosocial side effects of cancer are a daily reminder that his life is different now. His hands and feet tingle and he suffers from nausea from chemotherapy, no nap can fix his fatigue, he has difficulty reading computer screens and magazines, he has crippling nightmares, and he feels the strain his new life has on his friends and family.

He said, “I just lived with these side effects and assumed they would go away in time. They didn’t, they got much worse. Today things are on the up and up but I recently realized that I need help to get myself back to the old Paul (mentally and physically).”

Attending YACC’s Retreat Yourself in July 2018 helped him connect with other young adults who “get it,” but it also allowed him to connect with himself, confronting challenges and fears that came along after cancer.

“YACCers are some of the strongest people I’ve ever met in my life! I am honoured to have taken part in Retreat Yourself. I walked away with a massive tool box to deal with my illness and help me get back to normalcy. I am forever grateful to YACC for giving me the opportunity to attend, and am proud to have a bigger family than when I first showed up.”

Our latest Retreat Yourself kicks off in BC on November 29. While 23 young adults will get to experience the same personal growth and connection to a supportive community, many others did not.

The application rate for this Retreat Yourself event was 213 per cent of capacity. That means for every 10 spaces we could offer, 21 people have to wait for the next event. With your help, we will be able to offer more young adults the support they crave. Every cancer, every stage, YACC has the backs of young adults dealing with cancer, but we can only do that because you have ours. Thank you.

Life life. Love life.

Geoff Eaton, Executive Director                                                                                   

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