Amanda’s Story

I was 23 when my life changed forever.

I know this isn’t a groundbreaking statement – lots of people graduate, get a new job, get married, or do other life-changing things at 23.

I got cancer.

I had graduated from the University of Hartford and stayed on campus to get a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. I played Division I basketball at Hartford and was excited to go into a career related to sports. My plans were interrupted though, when a chronic health issue I’d quietly managed on my own got out of control.

For seven or eight years, I had been dealing with an embarrassing problem – gastric distress and bleeding – on and off; sometimes mild, sometimes severe. I hardly talked to anyone about it, and when doctors played it down, tried to blame it on my diet, or told me to wait it out, I just accepted what they said. I had to miss a game now and then, but overall I learned to live with it. What I realize now is that I was living with a pit in my stomach every time I would see that blood, but not want to talk to anyone about it.

During my first year in the DPT program, I got pretty sick and felt like I had to push harder for a diagnosis of some sort – that pit was telling me that something bad had to be going on. It was really hard to advocate for myself. Little did I know it was the first of many times I would have to speak up more than I felt comfortable with or make a decision I didn’t feel ready to make.

I had a colonoscopy and was expecting to hear that I had Chron’s Disease or IBD.

Nope – colon cancer. WTF.

I had been prepared to give up gluten, but I was NOT ready for moving home, putting down tens of thousands of dollars for fertility preservation, surgery, chemo, radiation, losing tons of weight, botched surgery, more surgery, hysterectomy, ostomy bag.

I also wasn’t ready for the feelings I had when I started my PT clinicals. I would go straight from the infusion room to the PT clinic, from hearing deathly ill people talk about their hopes of healing to hearing perfectly healthy people complain about how much a sprained ankle was cramping their style. I may have been the youngest person in that room getting chemo, but I felt for all of those survivors beside me and realized I wanted to give back to people like them.

After I was through with that litany of treatments and learned to live with my ostomy, I enrolled in nursing school at Johns Hopkins and a year later started working on the adult inpatient leukemia unit. I was so happy to be in a place to support these people I shared a kinship with.

But when I left work every day, I was alone. Forget dating – there was no way I was getting close to intimate with anybody with my new “companion” always at my side. No social sports or working out to relieve stress either; I didn’t think intense physical activity was an option for me anymore.

Then a friend from high school who also lives in Baltimore told me about the Ulman Cancer Fund and its Body of Young Adult Advisors. I checked it out – somewhat hesitantly – but once I was halfway through my first BOYAA meeting I knew I had found my place. These people looked and acted like me, and they spoke my cancer language. For the first time, I had peers my own age who could actually understand what I had been through, and some had even been through similar experiences themselves.

Before I knew it, I had signed up for Point to Point, and was going to have to figure out how to RUN from Baltimore to Key West. Cancer is still the toughest thing I have overcome, but this experience ended up being a very close second! The first few days, it was so hard to get through ten miles, but with Ian, Brock, and a bunch of other new friends – no, family – by my side, I managed to tick them off one by one.

I also managed, for the first time, to truly TALK about my experience with cancer. My Point to Point teammates were willing to put their own problems and priorities aside and just listen to me. Each of them had their own story, and in sharing theirs, they helped me be able to share mine, knowing I wouldn’t be judged or questioned or stigmatized or forgotten.

My life was changed forever at 23 when I learned I had cancer. And it was changed again at 26 when I came to UCF.

I know you have made a donation to UCF at some point, so in some way, you are part of my story. Thank you for giving, so that this organization and these people were here when I needed them. I know it sounds cheesy, but you have made all the difference.

As you could probably tell from earlier in my story, I don’t like to ask people for help. But I’m going out of my comfort zone to ask you to contribute again this year to the Ulman Cancer Fund. I know, without a doubt, that your support – financial and moral – will help someone else like me regain their body and their confidence after cancer.

Cancer changes lives…so do you.

Sincerely,

Amanda Weaver

Josh’s Story

Josh’s Story

Josh Minton thought he was invincible. A 27-year-old Army Captain in peak physical condition, Josh had already been through what he thought would be the biggest challenges of his life – four years at West Point and a tour of duty in Afghanistan as a Field Artillery Officer – and he survived both with aplomb. Engaged to be married, with a clear path forward in the Army, Josh planned confidently for his future.

While training at Fort Still in Oklahoma, Josh got checked out for what he thought must be a kidney stone. To his great surprise, he instead received a diagnosis of an incurable form of neuroendocrine cancer. He shipped off to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, leaving behind his comrades and far from his roots in Ohio. He withdrew from the world and separated from his fiancée, in denial about his new reality.

Over the next six months of chemo and self-imposed isolation, Josh processed his situation and little by little began to shift his perspective. He learned about the young adult support group at Walter Reed, run by UCF Patient Navigator Meg Fitzgibbons, and decided to give it a try. He found the group to be dynamic and flexible, and enjoyed sharing awkward moments of hilarity as well as poignant and sad reflections with his new peers.

 

Josh now reflects that the emotional challenge he continues to face is harder than any physical or tactical task he has encountered. Getting support from people at UCF and Walter Reed who could truly empathize with him, Josh – ever stubborn – rallied and decided to give support to others. He has shepherded fellow officers and enlisted through their cancer experiences, developing relationships he knew would end in heartbreak, but having the courage to do it anyway. He has completed physical feats – a half marathon, a60-mile walk, and UCF’s Key to Keys – to keep perspective, focus on the positive, and honor those who have gone before him. He has taught high school students how to be there for their friends who have cancer or chronic illnesses, and addressed elected officials at a Cancer Moonshot summit.

His body may not be invincible, but his spirit surely is. Josh, we salute you!

Donate to Be Day https://tinyurl.com/y8btb4mz

MJ’s Story

MJ’s Story

Meet the newest member of UCF’s Body of Young Adult Advisors (BOYAA): Marissa Hayes, also known as MJ.  Through her BOYAA service, MJ is poised to be the epitome of one of our organizational pillars: giving and getting support. Coming to BOYAA as the recipient of its 2017 scholarship, she quickly came to appreciate the community BOYAA creates and signed on to help raise funds to award future scholarships, and to give hope to other young adult survivors by sharing her story.

The fourth of seven siblings, MJ has, by necessity, learned to fend for herself. When she experienced consistent shoulder pain that she couldn’t chalk up to wakeboarding or perfecting her round-off/back handspring/back tuck combo, she persisted in seeking an answer after being told by several practitioners that she just needed physical therapy. While finally meeting with an orthopaedic cancer specialist, she received the news – alone, at 18 – that she had Ewing sarcoma.

MJ moved from Oregon, where she was enrolled at Oregon State University, to San Francisco, to seek treatment. She endured a year of chemotherapy and radiation, with some harsh side effects. Choosing this path of treatment instead of surgery, however, enabled MJ to continue as a Formula 3 driver – ultimately ranking 8th out of 40 in her nation-wide class!

As is UCF tradition, MJ has turned her frustrations into action. Feeling out of place in the pediatric hospital, she got involved with its AYA youth advisory council and social group. Inspired by a few of her caregivers, MJ has set her sights on becoming an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner – a position that will enable her to work specifically with the AYA population. Bolstered by the UCF scholarship, MJ is now enrolled in an 18-month program at theJohns Hopkins School of Nursing. Strengthened by the support she is currently getting from UCF, there’s no telling how much support she will ultimately give to others.

20 Years of Changing Lives

Dear Friends & Supporters,

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. 

This sentiment guided our Key to Keys team as they rode their bikes to Florida this April, and it represents the path we follow as an organization. Together with far more than 100,000 people who have supported the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults in some way over the past two decades, you have made great strides in surrounding young adults and their loved ones, impacted by cancer, with an affirming and welcoming community.

Thank you for the contributions you have made – of your time, spirit, and finances. The ripple effect we have collectively created has reached far and wide, and thanks to you, countless young adults have not had to face cancer alone.

We couldn’t be more excited about reaching our twentieth anniversary this fall, and we hope you will pause with us to celebrate, reflect, and recommit. Please save the dates on the below calendar, and join us to go together into the next twenty years.

Cancer changes lives… SO DO YOU!

Sincerely,


Brock Yetso

 


Capital Campaign Update

About four years ago, we started to dream about the next big idea for UCF – a place for young adults to stay, while receiving treatment, that is affordable, community-focused, and most importantly – meets them where they are as young adults. Countless focus groups, donor visits, and pre-construction meetings later, the UCF House is becoming a reality! The renovation is underway and we can’t thank you enough for making this ambitious project happen.

Along the way, we have faced tough challenges but even greater opportunities. The initial plan was to renovate three rowhouses, which, as you know, were in rough shape. We set our capital campaign goal of $3 Million and announced it to the UCF community, and we were off! Several months later, thanks to some good investigative work to locate an out-of-town owner and the generosity of a good friend, we were able to DOUBLE the size of the project to six rowhouses!

Now facing both the challenge of a higher project cost and the opportunity to welcome even more partners in philanthropy, we are thrilled to announce an increase of our capital campaign goal to $4 Million.  Please join us to help spread the word about the UCF House and our other important campaign priorities!


20 Years Strong

As we continue to celebrate our 20th Anniversary stay tuned to our website and social media accounts for upcoming events and post highlighting members of our community.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ulmancancerfund

Instagram: www.instagram.com/ulmancancerfund 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ulmancancerfnd

Snapchat: @ ulmancancerfund

By |August 28th, 2017|News|0 Comments

Are you a GameChanger?

Are you, or is someone you know, a young professional in the Baltimore area who’s doing great things inside and outside of the office? GameChangers are young professionals going above and beyond. They’re successful at work, committed to bettering their communities, and are leaders among their peers. Each fall, a committee reviews applications and nominations to select the most deserving young professionals and recognizes them for their efforts by declaring them GameChangers. GameChangers agree to support UCF’s mission by serving the young adult cancer community and raising funds ($3,000+) to support vital free programs for young adults, and their loved ones, impacted by cancer. The program begins in October of 2017 when the selected GameChangers begin a curriculum designed to serve the young adult cancer community while engaging in valuable personal and professional development. The curriculum includes meaningful volunteer opportunities, education on the young adult cancer fight, and benefits related to professional growth, networking, and tickets to UCF events. The program culminates with the with formal recognition at UCF’s annual Blue Jeans {& Bowties} Ball in early February, 2018 where the GameChangers will be celebrated for their commitment and accomplishments. After completing the program, GameChangers are invited to join UCF’s Body of Young Adult Advisors (BOYAA) where they will receive a complimentary Ambassador membership for the 2017-2018 year. GameChangers are also encouraged to continue their engagement by nominating and reviewing applicants for the following year.

Applications close Sept 1. Learn more and apply at ulmanfund.org/gamechangers 

Benefits

•A platform to assist young adults and their families who have been impacted by cancer

• Recognition in the Baltimore community as a young professional of note in business and philanthropy

• Networking opportunities with young professionals, Ulman Cancer Fund Board of Directors, and Ulman Cancer Fund partner organizations

• Featured in local and social media such as LinkedIn, newspapers, community websites, and magazines

• Body of Young Adult Advisors Ambassador Membership for 2017- 2018

• Award ceremony at Blue Jeans {& Bowties} Ball with over 800 people in attendance and 2 complimentary tickets

• 1 complimentary ticket to Screw Cancer Brew Hope (Fall, 2017), hosted by BOYAA

• Photo and bio on GameChangers Website

• GameChangers “Badge” and text for inclusion on LinkedIn profile

• Leather UCF folio

• Under Armour UCF backpack

• Under Armour UCF jacket

• GameChangers lapel pin

 

Curriculum Mandatory:

• Attend GameChangers orientation and kickoff happy hour

• Plan and host a Bone Marrow drive with your cohort

• Adopt a family for the UCF gift drive with your cohort

• Prepare and deliver Thanksgiving meals to UCF patients and families

• Attend a hospital tour with a UCF Patient Navigator

• Attend the 2018 Blue Jeans {& Bowties} Ball and Honoree Reception

• Meet $3,000 fundraising minimum

Additional opportunities:

• Host a Lunch & Learn at your company. UCF will visit for 30 minutes to an hour to meet with your colleagues and talk about UCF’s services and ways to get involved

• Attend monthly BOYAA meetings (Third Wednesday of every month at 6:30pm at the UCF Headquarters)

• Attend a UCF Board of Directors social

• UCF Board of Directors mentorship

• UCF Board of Directors mentorship opportunity

• Attend Screw Cancer Brew Hope (Fall, 2017)

 

Questions? Contact GameChangers@UlmanFund.org or 410-964-0202 x117

4K Update: Halfway There!

 

Every Mile Matters

It was just about a month ago that our 4K for Cancer teams began cycling and running across the country. We’re excited to keep you updated as our riders and runners approach the halfway point of their journeys!

It is extremely powerful to see the relationships that they have formed in a just a few short weeks together. Together as a team, they have ensured that Every Mile Matters. 

To date, the 4K for Cancer has:

  • Awarded 8 scholarships to young adults impacted by cancer
  • Visited 10 cancer centers to provide support to those in treatment
  • Delivered 140 chemo care bags to patients
  • Covered 15,076 collective miles
  • Raised over $730,093 for the young adult cancer fight!

Follow the teams through an interactive map on their web pages and access all their mail drop locations!

Baltimore Businesses Pledge to Cycle for Young Adults Fighting Cancer

MedStar Health Systems, M&T Bank, Merritt Clubs, Mindgrub, Allegis Global Solutions, and Shapiro commit to spinning for a cause during the first annual Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults Cycle to Inspire.

The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF) has created an exciting opportunity for Baltimore businesses to join the fight against young adult cancer, while strengthening internal teams, encouraging corporate wellness, and broadening networks. On Friday, September 15th UCF will host Cycle to Inspire, a half-day team spinathon at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore-based organizations create teams of 10 employees who will be challenged to cycle for one of multiple 45-minute spin session throughout the day led by some of Baltimore’s best spin instructors. Teams will compete to win the ‘Every Mile Matters’ award for most miles covered and the ‘Every Dollar Counts’ award for the most money raised.

The proceeds from Cycle to Inspire will help to expand UCF’s young adult cancer support services by creating a patient navigation program within the MedStar Health System in Baltimore. This new program will provide essential resources and a community of support to young adult cancer patients undergoing treatment at MedStar institutions. This service complements existing programs UCF offers at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, Children’s National Medical Center, and the John P. Murtha Cancer Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“We are excited to offer an opportunity for Baltimore-based businesses and organizations to get involved with our organization and have the ability to directly support services for young adults facing cancer diagnoses, and their loved ones, in the Baltimore area, said Brian Satola, COO at the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. “We have great organizations in MedStar, M&T Bank, Merritt, Mindgrub, and Allegis Global Solutions already committed and look forward to bringing additional companies and organizations on board.”

“The goals of the Ulman Cancer Fund are our goals too,” said Linda Rogers, Vice President of Oncology for the Baltimore Region of MedStar Health. “Raising funds, awareness, and support for the specific needs of young people with cancer is something we can all embrace. Here’s an opportunity to join forces with this incredible and compassionate organization, one we’ve long respected that directly benefits patients. We are grateful for the partnership and excited for the opportunity to participate in what is sure to be a fun way to promote survivorship and the fight against cancer.”

Team participation and sponsorship opportunities for Cycle to Inspire are available. For more information on how you can get engaged and serve young adults facing cancer, visit http://ulmanfund.org/cycletoinspire.

“Finding Your Cause”- BOYAA member, Geoff Gamble, published in the Daily Record

 

Geoffrey M. Gamble: Finding your cause

I was finishing my first year as an associate at Saul Ewing LLP when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. In an instant, the excitement and self-assurance I had been feeling after finishing law school and starting my career was replaced by a feeling of helplessness that I had never experienced before.

Thankfully, my mother made a full recovery and has been cancer-free for over seven years. But after being so close to her fight, I knew I could not return to my life and just forget about cancer. Her recovery marked the beginning of my own journey into volunteerism.

Over the next few years, I looked for opportunities to get involved in the fight against cancer. I did more than a few walks to raise money for cancer research, but it did not feel like I was doing enough.  Ultimately, it was a colleague and close friend who introduced me to the group that would transform my life in so many ways. For the last five years, I have been a member of the Board of Young Adult Advisors, or BOYAA, a volunteer philanthropy organization run by The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults I have participated in outreach and awareness efforts, as well as fundraising for scholarships to send cancer survivors and caregivers to college. Through my involvement with BOYAA, I have met the most incredible people from varied backgrounds – all drawn together by their shared motivation to support young adults and their loved ones impacted by cancer, and fight for a cure.

The impact BOYAA has had on my life cannot be understated. It has educated me about the unique and significant struggles and issues that young adult cancer patients experience and provided what is often much needed perspective. It has given me the opportunity to work alongside talented and young professionals in Baltimore who regularly challenge me to be better and to give more. It has allowed me to witness – in my fellow BOYAA members and the UCF staff – the inspiring work of people who go the extra mile day to improve the community and the lives of the people in it.  Perhaps most importantly, however, the group enables me to make a tangible impact in the lives of people struggling through the same ordeal as my mother.

Why volunteer?

Many of us get so trapped in our own corporate bubble that we fail to see the many opportunities to enrich our lives and the lives of others outside of the nine-to-five. Volunteering lets you work toward a greater good, while gaining an invaluable perspective on the world beyond your comfort zone. It is also a way to branch out and extend your professional development in an engaging, and often inspiring, way. Volunteering benefits the community, but it also benefits you.

When you take up the mantle of a cause, you expand your personal narrative. Your work should not be your entire life and, with a volunteer position, you can extend your resume by leaps and bounds.  You are not just an architect; you are an architect with an interest in neighborhood revitalization.

Volunteering also extends your network to include a hugely diverse group of motivated individuals. Think about the people who volunteer – they have a strong work ethic, leadership skills and are well connected. These are the people you want to know, and a shared commitment to a common cause is a great way to meet them. Contacts made through volunteering might end up enriching your professional life as well as your personal life.

How to find your cause

Do a quick Google search of a cause you care about and add the word “Baltimore.” You will no doubt get hundreds of results. In fact, there may be so many that it could be hard to narrow them down. When you are browsing, try to limit yourself to those organizations you can see yourself devoting your valuable free time. When you truly click with an organization on a personal level, it becomes easy to follow through.

Once you have narrowed your prospects, take a deeper look at the organization’s leadership. Do you have other interests that align outside of the cause itself? If so, ask one of the organization’s leaders out for coffee – people love talking about what motivates them, and they will be glad you are excited about their cause. If a one-on-one is not for you, then just show up at an event. Bring a friend if it makes you more comfortable. The important thing is to get your foot in the door so that you can judge whether the organization is the right fit for you.

It is an old cliché that those who volunteer often get more out of the experience than those they are there to help. But volunteering is the quintessential win-win. Find your cause and you truly will be enriched by doing so.

Geoffrey M. Gamble is a partner at Saul Ewing LLP in Baltimore. He can be reached at ggamble@saul.com.

National Social Workers Month! An Interview with: Elizabeth Saylor, MSW & Majbritt Jensen, LCSW-C

An Interview with:

 

Elizabeth Saylor, MSW

Elizabeth Saylor, MSW, is the Ulman Fund Young Adult Patient Navigator at University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center (UMGCC).

 

Majbritt Jensen, LCSW-C

Majbritt Jensen LCSW-C is the Clinical Social Worker for the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center (UMGCC).
social work

Elizabeth (Class of 2002) and Majbritt (Class of 2000) are pictured here in front of their alma mater, the University of Maryland School of Social Work.

 

Why did you want to become a social worker (and work with young adults impacted by cancer)?

 

Majbritt: I love to be of service and to help. Hearing the story of a person’s life and witnessing the love shared between patients and their families enriches me daily. Oncology social work is a privilege. Oncology social workers are with people when their entire world changes the second the doctor says, “You have cancer.” Being part of that journey is an honor. To help ease the burden of having a diagnosis in any small way is a blessing and as a social worker I can help do that. I love connecting patients to resources like the Ulman Fund, or LLS, having  food sent to a patient’s home to help ease the stress on the caregiver, providing support groups and my favorite part is just being present and being a source of support during such a difficult time.

 

Elizabeth: Prior to social work I studied psychology.  These academic disciplines are closely related but social work puts a real emphasis on working from people’s strengths, thinking about how an individual’s environment shapes their behavior, and that ultimately, human beings know what is best for their own growth and healing.  At the time I was applying to graduate school I was a special educator in the Baltimore City Public School System.  I saw how simply diagnosing and labeling kids didn’t achieve much change and really cheated children out of a chance to thrive.  I also witnessed the potential for success in helping communities act on the school, neighborhood and municipal systems in which they lived.  The social justice aspect of social work really appeals to me. The social workers who served on  the Special Education team encouraged me to apply to UMB, and I am so glad I did!

Growing up I knew  two social workers because I was their patient during my own cancer experience.  The first was marginal in her efforts to establish rapport with me and my parents, and offered few helpful resources or suggestions.  This was unfortunate given the fact that she was stationed at a children’s hospital and could have made a huge difference in the lives of sick children, and one terrified and stressed-out 3rd grader.  The second was fantastic.  She was stationed at a large academic medical center where I received radiation. Working in an institution that was not at all geared towards children she sought creative and unique ways to make my experience easier.  She would play card and board games with me during the long wait times (imagine a waiting area filled with elderly, very ill cancer patients in wheel chairs and on stretchers) and strategized ways to ease my anxiety about being alone in the treatment room.  I am dating myself a bit here but she knew I loved Michael Jackson and so she secured a Walkman and a Thriller cassette tape that I could listen to.

 

What is the best part of your job as a social worker in the young adult oncology space?

 

Majbritt: The best part of my job as an oncology social worker is that I am reminded every day that things don’t matter, status doesn’t matter, all that matters is relationships and how much you have loved. Last year Elizabeth and I worked with a young man who passed away at age 24. He had a toddler, beautiful wife and devoted parents that stood by him through his long battle. Elizabeth and I went to his funeral service. Hundreds of people were there. In his short life that young man touched every person he met. When people stood up to talk about him, they talked about his kindness, and how much he loved his wife and son. At such a young age that young man left a mark on this world.

 

Elizabeth: Working with young adults who are living with cancer I witness daily the strength of the human spirit.  I mean this in the most genuine way.  I had cancer as a child.  It was not fun and I am sure dreadful for my parents.  But I didn’t have the responsibility the patients I work with have.  I had no choice – someone always made sure I got to the hospital.

People are remarkable and young adults especially.  Dealing with cancer at any age is challenging but managing to get out of bed and show up for chemotherapy when you are trying to finish school, or start a new job, or get used to living with your parents again because you are too sick to live alone, or figure out how to comfort your young children who are scared you are going to die, or explain to a new partner why you need to cancel a date, or figure out how to pay your car bill with your limited disability check, now that takes real guts. Doing all of this while your friends are moving forward with the “normal” young adults stuff is just plain courageous.

 

What piece of advice would you give anyone interested in become a social worker?

 

Majbritt: Always be present. You will have 100 things you will need to be doing but when you are with a patient or their loved one, be present. Listen. Be with them in that moment.

 

Elizabeth: Social work is a wonderful profession and the MSW is a versatile, practical advanced degree.  If you enjoy interacting with and learning from other human beings this could be the right career path for you.  And I don’t just mean learning from the patients.  I learn from colleagues like Majbritt every day. Her training is much more clinically focused while I am more of a macro practitioner. Majbritt knows how to rapidly but sincerely build trust with families that are about to go through transplant and this is a real skill.  

 

If you believe that the world- your country, city, neighborhood, block, or HOSPITAL! -can be a much better place, especially for those of us with the least resources, then I encourage you to pursue a career in social work.

National Social Workers Month! An Interview with: Alexandra Gubin, LCSW

An Interview with:

Alexandra Gubin, LCSW

Alexandra Gubin, LCSW, is the Ulman Fund Young Adult Patient Navigator at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

photo_allie

Why did you want to become a social worker (and work with young adults impacted by cancer)?

I’ve always been interested in human behavior as well as concerned with the greater social good. When considering a career in Social Work, the range of professional pursuits provided by a Social Work degree, from direct practice to policy level work intrigued me very much.

 

What is the best part of your job as a social worker in the young adult oncology space?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is having the opportunity to interact and support patients and families navigating cancer treatment. The strength and resilience exuded by patients/families during critical and often traumatic points in their lives is life-affirming to me.

 

What piece of advice would you give anyone interested in become a social worker?

For those contemplating becoming a social worker, it is important to consider an openness to change and to the possibility of new experiences. A Social Work degree can take you many places!