Young People: Tweet Up for Stupid Cancer
Sarah Brannon was 29 when she was diagnosed with cancer. It’s a day she remembers well.
It was 2008, a Thursday at 3 p.m., and her doctor delivered the news: the mysterious aches, sweats and weight loss she had been experiencing were the cause of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system.
“Everybody said ‘but you’re too young!‘ “ said Brannon, now 31 and in remission.
But she wasn’t too young . Every year, an estimated 70,000 people ranging in age from 15 to 39 are diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer patients, survivors and social workers say this group faces a host of problems that many people, including doctors, are not aware or equipped to deal with.
“After the treatment ended, I felt abandoned. It was a shock to be left alone,” said Brannon. “I went through a depression. Before cancer, I was young, dating a lot. I had a career. But everything changed and I didn’t know what to do.”
Methodist Healthcare hopes to bring awareness in the first “Young People Get Cancer Too” Tweet Up held Friday from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at TriPoint YMCA, located at 3233 N. St. Mary’s.
Brannon will be one in a panel of young cancer survivors that will share their experiences, take questions and post comments on Twitter and Facebook.
Simultaneously, doctors and nurses attending the Texas Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Medical Professionals Conference at the Hyatt Regency, at 123 Losoya St, will see these comments.
The idea is to get the community talking and sharing, to let people know that young people with cancer have unique needs, that they’re not alone and there’s help out there, especially in the age of the Internet.
Hollywood composer Matthew Zachary, creator of the nonprofit organization I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation, will be the keynote speaker. Zachary is also host of the popular blog and talk radio webcast called Stupid Cancer. He will be joined by emcee and Fox News anchor Karen Martinez. Both Zachary and Martinez are cancer survivors.
The event is free and The Tim and Bob Show will provide music.
To participate on Facebook before, during or after the event, go to www.facebook.comyoungpeoplegetcancertoo.
You can also Twitter at #YCancer and register at www.regonline.com/taya_oncology_conf.
To know more about Brannon’s experience, you can read her blog.