Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Forgotten Bunch

Yesterday, my mom shared an amazing story from The Wall Street Journal. It was about a guy my age who had a brain tumor resection. After the surgery he was completely blind in both eyes (they didn't say whether the blindness was due to an "oops" during surgery - one of those caveats that doctors give but don't expect to happen under their hands, or if it was expected).

Even though he was blind in both eyes, he was able to do a 7 day group kayak trip along the Colorado river. It wasn't a float, it wasn't easy, they started out with the basics and by the end of the week they had individually conquered class III rapids on river kayaks. It was an amazing story. The best part (in my opinion) was that the adventure was free. Here's a quote from the First Descents website, "They were there to prove themselves and to prove a point: that cancer, no matter how aggressive, dormant, advanced, or invasive, would never be stronger than they were."

What a beautiful program. What a wonderful idea. 

There were a lot of points in the article, and an unbelievable amount of links. I guess, what surprised me was that young adults are forgotten when thinking of cancer. Here's an excerpt from the article; "The grim statistics have become a rallying point for activist groups: Some 72,000 Americans aged 15 to 39 are diagnosed with cancer every year, and more than 10,000 die. They make up less than 10% of all cancer patients, but survival rates for teens and young adults have barely budged since 1975, while those for children and older people have made dramatic gains."

I guess my point is that there's definitely a need for research, specifically in the treatment area regarding young adults and cancer. We might be the forgotten bunch, just like the middle child.

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