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We failed.

“Any cancer, any stage, YACC’s got your back.”

That philosophy is buried in our bone marrow here at YACC. We do whatever we can to support a YACCer. We get as excited as they are when we confirm their coveted spot at a retreat. They are excited at the prospect of connecting with others who “get” them. We know life-changing, core-shaking, transformation-making stuff awaits.

Stephenie was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer two years ago in December. She spent 2015 dealing with cancer via oral chemotherapy, radiation, two major surgeries, and intravenous chemotherapy. In March 2016, her medical team told her she probably had six months to live.


After months participating in YACC’s digital spaces, and despite the fact that her health is declining and it would probably be the last trip she ever took, she was determined to cross Retreat Yourself off her bucket list and registered for the December 2016 event.

I didn’t know anyone in my age group with cancer and there were no support groups near my home. Being a young adult with cancer, there are so many different issues that arise. Not having someone to talk to who could legitimately understand what I was going through was depressing and isolating. Then came YACC!” she said last week. “Having a place to ask questions and tell stories means the world to me. I no longer feel alone. And I can only imagine, if this online community has made such a positive impact on me, how awesome would it be to actually meet some of these amazing warriors in real life?”

Today the limits of our effort—and indeed our own failure—hit home as Stephenie had to give up her spot at this week’s retreat. Her health is too fragile to fly, too fragile for the four-day event that is equal parts exhilaration and exhaustion.

Failing to provide Stephenie with the connection she craves is our failure. This is not cancer’s doing; she had time when she was well, we didn’t have a program with spots available for her during that time. That stings in a way we haven’t felt before.

“Any cancer, any stage, YACC’s got your back.”

This philosophy has only ever been true because people like you have believed in the work we do. Please, amidst the chaos and joy of the holidays, consider making a #GivingTuesday gift to YACC to help make more events possible.

We only have their backs because you have ours. Thank you.

Live life. Love life.

Geoff Eaton, Executive Director

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