YACC Web: Chats provide a way for young adults affected by cancer to connect in an easy, safe, and supportive environment. These chats are peer-led themed virtual conversations offered over Zoom by a team of YACC leaders.
We are currently offering many live chats every week for young adults aged 18-39 (ish) years old. Registration remains open and new spaces are made available every week.
General chats are held multiple times a week for any young adults diagnosed with cancer. Each chat is themed to offer a variety of opportunities to connect within the young adult cancer experience.
“Out With Cancer” provides a safe space for 2SLGBTQIA+ people to connect with others diagnosed with cancer in a private, affirming, empowering online space. These sessions are indicated with a rainbow flag.
What you can expect: Respect, honesty, insights, and confidentiality.
“When I first learned of these YACC virtual chats, I was an emotional disaster. I was just finishing up my last treatment and I couldn’t even say my diagnosis out loud without crying. These weekly virtual chats have given me the strength and confidence I have been seeking. There is something about connecting with fellow cancer survivors that is invigorating — strength in numbers, I guess. After all they have done for me, I cannot even imagine not attending anymore.”
Dani (she/her) is curious and reflective. She lives with Lynch syndrome and was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer at age 23, which was successfully treated through chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Dani initially connected with YACC in 2015 at Retreat Yourself Ontario, and has been involved in many areas of the organization, currently working as the Manager of Programs and Partnerships.
Since her diagnosis, Dani has trained as a social worker with York University and the University of Toronto, and has provided oncology and palliative social work care with Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto, The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and Sunnybrook Health Science Centre.
As a chat peer leader, she is passionate about facilitating spaces that are open, dynamic, and that build lasting community connections. Dani recognizes the isolation that is felt by many experiencing a young adult cancer and believes that YACC is an essential part of holistic cancer care.
Greet (she/her) is a creative, empathetic, Estonian living in Montreal. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35, and then again at 36. Greet is a carrier of PALB2 mutation, so navigating the cancer world is a lifelong journey.
She joined YACC Chats when first diagnosed and attended many online through her ups and downs. She found funny, full-of-life, opinionated, chatty people who were creating a lovely community there. She is really excited to facilitate safe spaces and for everyone to feel welcome in her chats. Greet believes the act of coming together to share our vulnerability and time together storytelling is a powerful source of healing.
Heather (she/her) is empathetic and open-minded. She has relied heavily on her sense of humour throughout her cancer journey, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January 2021 at the age of 26, and is in remission as of November 2021.
Heather has recently gotten involved with the YACC community, and this is her first-time volunteering with YACC. She loves the community she has found here, and is excited to be able to help provide an inclusive, safe, and supportive space for other YACC members to connect with each other while they navigate their own cancer journeys.
I identify as a compassionate, empathetic, understanding and open brain tumour survivor, a lady who loves to make people laugh, and a passionate people person with a desire to make deep connections with others.
Janean (she/her) is passionate, empathetic, and creative. She is a young adult brain tumour survivor. She was diagnosed with her brain tumour (which she refers to as “Chad”) in June 2021 and underwent surgery less than four weeks later. She connected with YACC shortly after her diagnosis and prior to her surgery via their online YACC Chats.
This is Janean’s first time volunteering with YACC, but she is most certain it will not be her last. The support she received from her very first chat (and all of the subsequent chats) is what has driven her to give back to the community.
Jay (he/him) is a cancer survivor who is laid back, supportive, known to push boundaries, and walks to the beat of his own drum. After being diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in November 2020, he underwent a successful bowel resection and is on the home stretch of 12 rounds of clean up chemotherapy. Shortly after his diagnosis, he made the decision that he needed to find a community of like-minded people. Since joining YACC in December 2020, Jay has taken part in numerous YACC Chats, Survivor Conference, Primetown, and more. He is grateful and excited for the opportunity to support his fellow peers. Jay has a wealth of knowledge and is a true advocate, and he hopes to share this passion and lived experiences with fellow YACC members and support and encourage them to take control of their cancer journey. (Read Jay’s YACC profile)
Kat (they/them) is passionate, curious, and caring. They were diagnosed with colorectal cancer at 34 in 2021 and are currently undergoing treatment. After diagnosis, they quickly connected with the cancer community for support, showing up for their first YACC event — the Survivor Conference — three months after diagnosis. Since then, Kat has found connection, support, and hope through YACC chats
Kat has loved facilitating connections by designing experiences and creating affirming spaces throughout their life. They are excited to bring this passion to the YACC community through these Chats that build the supports we need as we live with and beyond cancer.
Sandra (she/her) is caring, open minded, and curious. She is a young adult cancer survivor, having been diagnosed in 2019 with cervical cancer at the age of 35. Sandra connected with YACC in 2020 when she participated in weekly YACC Chats and attended virtual conferences. Providing others with support as they navigate their own cancer journey and normalizing hard emotions are the main reasons why she leads these chats.
Peter (he/him) is transparent, authentic, and invested. He is a young adult survivor who has proudly made it to his 40s. Having been diagnosed in 2002 with testicular cancer and again for a second time in 2006, he’s undergone two orchiectomies, one RPLND surgery, chemotherapy, and has been in remission since 2006.
He connected with YACC in 2008 when he attended a retreat in Montreal and a later conference in Lake Louise, AB. Since, he has participated in and volunteered as one of the original Localife Toronto leaders and one of the first panelists for the original Big Cancer Hook-up. Peter has continuously advocated for cancer awareness in and outside of YACC and continues to do so. “Isolation is the number one issue facing young adult survivors. Helping eliminate that is my drive to lead these chats.”
Production of YACC Web: Chats has been made possible through collaboration and financial support from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer Corporation and Health Canada.
The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of
the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer Corporation or Health Canada.