On March 29th, the Young Adult Program at Dana-Farber (YAP@DFCI) hosts its 11th annual conference focused on the the unique circumstances related to lifestyle, work, school, family life, and emotional development that young adults face when living with cancer. This FREE one-day event in Boston includes an opening keynote by Tara Shuman, a YA who found therapeutic benefits from writing and now blogs at tarabeatscancer.com.
According to Program Coordinator, Anne Bielaczyc, “Tara Shuman has put together a dynamic presentation called Putting Words to our Voices: Blogging Through Cancer. Tara will speak about the blog she created while undergoing treatment. In addition to sharing her own story, Tara will engage the audience in an experiential activity and has included opportunities for other YAs to contribute to the discussion on writing and self-expression. We’re always striving to develop innovative programing and the Young Adult Cancer Conference in March is part of our mission!”
- To Share or Not to Share – this workshop will feature a young adult panel and will discuss the many issues surrounding disclosure and cancer.
- Managing common side effects of treatment – professionals from Dana Farber Cancer Institute will have a conversation about how to manage side effects of treatment which can affect quality of life. This workshop will feature ample time for Q & A.
- Just for caregivers: When a Young Adult You Love Has Cancer – Young adults often attend the conference with a caregiver. This workshop will explore helpful care-giving strategies and will allow for participants to share personal wisdom and experiences.
YAP@DFCI also has monthly activities for the YA community and provides an online forum at http://dana-farber-yap.org/. Bielaczyc is particularly excited about an upcoming spring program called Access to Art at the Museum of Fine Arts. This program will provide an opportunity for YA Dana-Farber patients to enjoy a creative afternoon viewing and making art together. “We’re also very excited to host an evening event at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline. We will be screening a recent release about a young adult with cancer, followed by a brief discussion of the film. This event will be open to DFCI patients as well as their caregivers and friends,” said Bielaczyc.