April 16 -30, 2023

Live Sessions & Activities

Monday, April 17th

4:00 - 5:15 PM ET

Identifying & Dealing with Triggers

Leeann Terwilliger, LCSW

Stupid Cancer

As an AYA going through life after a cancer diagnosis, there are likely to be lots of things that unexpectedly stir up negative memories and memories for you. Unfortunately, daily life doesn’t come with a trigger warning. Whether it’s the smell of hand sanitizer, a certain time of year, an unexpected pain, or a comment from a stranger – these outwardly common occurrences can be disorienting and upsetting. Join this interactive discussion session to explore your own potential triggers and learn how to better cope with them.

9:00 - 10:00 PM ET

Welcome to DCC Meetup

Meet your fellow AYAs at this casual zoom hangout.

Tuesday, April 18th

6:30 - 7:30 PM ET

Grieving the Life You’re Living: The Cancer Journey

Caroline Lee, MA

Grief is a common part of the cancer experience. For AYA patients and caregivers grieving the life they expected, this disenfranchised grief can feel complicated. Join this interactive discussion session to learn how grief shows up for some cancer patients, learn methods for processing these feelings, and connect to other survivors experiencing the same difficult emotions.

9:00 - 10:00 PM ET

Gen Z Meetup

No millennials allowed! Join Natalia to hang out with our younger AYAs.

Wednesday, April 19th

4:00 - 5:00 PM ET

Building Queer Community

Hailey Johnston, Yasmine Ramachandra, 

 & Elisabeth Dodd

As AYAs in the LGBTQIA+ community, we often see supportive care prioritized for our straight and cisgender peers. And depending on where you live, you may be isolated from accessing queer community and kinship. This discussion is a forum to share our unique challenges and build a network of support.

8:00 - 9:00 PM ET

Caregiver Meetup

Join a bereaved sibling caregiver, Janelle, to connect with other caregivers about the ups and downs of the caregiving journey. All caregiver relationships are welcome!

Thursday, April 20th

6:00 - 7:15 PM ET

Living with Metastatic or Chronic Cancer: The Unknown Journey and the Vibrant Life

Jewelene Meacham, RN, CHPN, NC

Living with metastatic or chronic cancer, it can be difficult to stay present in the moment in the face of long-term treatment or fears of recurrence. But you deserve to find a place of personal wellness every day. In this interactive session with other survivors, discuss how to accept your limitations, realize your possibilities, embrace the now, and learn to live vibrantly.

8:00 - 9:00 PM ET

Digital Meetup

Meet your fellow AYAs at a casual zoom hangout.

Friday, April 21st

7:00 - 8:15 PM ET

Trivia Night

Make friends and test your knowledge in this team pub-style trivia challenge!

8:30 - 9:30 PM ET

Metastatic Patients Meetup

This one’s just for our metastatic community! Join community member Carrie to hang out with your peers.

Sunday, April 23rd

1:00 - 2:15 PM ET

Demystifying Patient Engagement Research Projects: Advancing Services for Underrepresented AYAs with Cancer

Lauren Ghazal, PhD, FNP-BC

Cindy Villarreal, MSW LLMSW

Join this session to learn about the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) engagement projects and how patients can get more involved in research. This session will focus on a University of Michigan-led project, “Partnering to advance psycho-oncology services for underrepresented AYAs with cancer,” that Stupid Cancer is involved with. Hear directly from the project coordinators, and then join in an interactive discussion on patient engagement in research projects.

Monday, April 24th

5:30 - 6:15 PM ET

Coping with Uncertainty in the Face of Infertility

Leeann Terwilliger, LCSW

Stupid Cancer

Whether or not you know you want to be a parent, having that choice potentially taken away from you because of cancer treatment can trigger a lot of complicated and surprising emotions. Unfortunately, struggling with the uncertainty of potential infertility or a high-risk pregnancy, grieving the loss of fertility, and mourning the life you planned are all common experiences for AYAs. Join this discussion to process and unpack the many complicated feelings that infertility can create.

9:00 - 10:00 PM ET

Digital Meetup

Meet your fellow AYAs at a casual zoom hangout.

Tuesday, April 25th

6:00 - 7:15 PM ET

The Future of Caregiving: Millennials and the Caregiving Crisis

Vanessa Steil, Amanda Ferraro 

& Jessica Cording

Millennials face multiple caregiving challenges: young children, aging parents, loved ones with cancer. The reality of modern caregiving, with a lack of professional support, impacts millennials economically, mentally, and physically. In this interactive session, hear from a panel of millennial caregivers on how they manage their caregiving responsibilities and avoid burnout; then join in the discussion about how you can care for your loved ones and yourself.

Wednesday, April 26th

8:00 - 9:00 PM ET

Pediatric Survivors Meetup

Join Alyssa to hang out with your pediatric survivor crew!

Thursday, April 27th

8:00 - 9:00 PM ET

Digital Meetup

Meet your fellow AYAs at a casual zoom hangout.

Friday, April 26th

5:30 - 6:30 PM ET

Storytelling Open Mic

Hear amazing, relatable, and always real stories at this intimate open-mic style event to cap off two weeks of AYA connection. Want to be a storyteller? Email [email protected] to sign up.

Pre-Recorded Sessions

Cancer in the Bedroom

Calvin Hauer, LMFT; Stephanie Cizek, MD; JP Pritchett

You may be frustrated by disruptions to your sex life during and after cancer treatment, but there are interventions and tools that can help you regain confidence and increase pleasure. This dynamic panel presentation will share approachable tools and strategies to address the physical and emotional aspects of intimacy and sex after cancer.

Cancer-Related Cognitive Impairment: Strategies and Support for "Chemo Brain"

Alique Topalian, PhD, MPH

Cancer-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) aka “chemo brain” impacts up to 75% of all cancer survivors at some time during their cancer experience. This informative presentation will explain what it is, why it happens, and what you can do about it. We’ll also talk about why we’re changing the name and share strategies that you can use to try to combat these frustrating symptoms to make your life a little easier.

Coping with Life After Active Treatment

Megan Gilman, MD

Life after active treatment can be challenging and isolating; this presentation will dig into why it’s so hard. Learn how psychological support can help, and explore what kind of therapies and/or medications might be best for you during this often difficult transition.

Facing Off with Toxic Positivity

Julie Larson, LCSW

A cancer diagnosis brings up lots of complicated emotions, and you have the right to experience the full spectrum of feelings. But we all have loved ones who show up with an abundance of positivity. Sometimes their brand of support is helpful, and sometimes it is… just too much. This presentation will share some tools to help you honor your honest experience, communicate what you really need from others, and deal with toxic positivity.

Living with Chronic Pain: Overview and Treatment Strategies

Leighanna Kilgore, MSSA, LICSW

Chronic pain is an unfortunate fact of life for many AYAs. Check out this presentation to learn how chronic pain impacts the brain and review evidence-based strategies that can help you manage pain and reduce suffering.

Psychedelics & Cancer: Exploring the Research for Potential Mental Health Treatment

Uma Chatterjee, MS, MHPS

Research on psychedelics as mental health treatments is at an all-time high. Currently, various psychedelics and psychoplastogens, including psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, DMT, and ketamine, are being studied across a wide variety of disciplines for several clinical indications, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, chronic pain, and most notably, cancer and cancer-adjacent conditions. This informative session will synthesize the current literature and findings on psychedelics as therapeutics for AYA cancer and cancer-related mental health conditions.

Strategies for HCPs to Engage Their Young Patients: “I’m not sure why I tell you stuff...” & Other "Compliments"

Michelle Preston, CCLS; Maddy Yeager, CCLS; Reghan Anderson, CCLS

AYAs are a unique patient population, deserving of specialized support. This presentation for healthcare providers will share strategies developed by a team of Child Life Specialists for using authenticity and humor to provide quality, AYA-specific care for professionals supporting AYAs on their cancer journey from “Day 0” throughout Survivorship.

Working It Out: Cancer and Employment Rights for Young Adults

Shelly Rosenfeld

Did you know having cancer may actually qualify you for protection at work under both state and federal law? This presentation will cover your rights as outlined in important laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and social security programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) Workout

Brianne Young, DPT

Get moving with this workout class from 13thirty Cancer Connect’s app, 13thirty To Go! No equipment needed; just follow along with featured AYAs Alex V, Michelle H, Emily C through a full body warm up, workout, and cool down in just thirty minutes.

Speakers

Reghan Anderson

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Uma Chatterjee,
MS, MHPS

Neuroscience Graduate Student

Stephanie Cizek, MD

Stanford Children's Health

Jessica Cording

Author & Nutritionist

Michael Cramer

Elisabeth Dod

Amanda Ferraro

Cancer Is An Asshole

Lauren Ghazal,
PhD, FNP-BC

University of Michigan

Megan Gilman, MD

Memorial Sloan Kettering

Calvin Hauer, LMFT

Marriage and Family Therapist

Hailey Johnston

Escape

Leighanna Kilgore,
MSSA, LICSW

Therapist

Julie Larson, LCSW

Therapist

Caroline Lee, MA

A Cared for Heart

Jewelene Meacham,
RN, CHPN, NC

Wellness After Cancer

Christina Merrill

Michelle Preston

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

JP Pritchett

Smitten Kitten

Yasmine Ramachandra

Shelly Rosenfeld

Cancer Legal Resource Center

Vanessa Steil

In Steil Creative

Leeann Terwilliger, LCSW

Stupid Cancer

Alique Topalian,
PhD, MPH

University of Cincinnati

Cindy Villarreal,
MSW, LLMSW

University of Michigan

Maddy Yeager

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia