Hello! My name is Roxanne van Velzen (she/her). 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.