Annual Conference for Young Women

To address the diverse issues facing young women diagnosed with breast cancer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has teamed up with Living Beyond Breast Cancer and the Young Survival Coalition for the Annual Conference for Young Women Affected by Breast Cancer (C4YW), held for young women affected by breast cancer and those who support them.

Medha Deoras-Sutliff, a breast cancer survivor and education/support programming chair for the Young Survival Coalition, has attended the C4YW before and recently shared these thoughts.

Medha with a group of young survivors from Central Ohio at the 2008 C4YW.

“I heard the life-altering words, ‘You have breast cancer’ first at age 27, then again at age 37.  I always felt isolated and alone…most medical and psychological resources seemed designed for women over age 50.  Fortunately, I learned of the Annual Conference for Young Women, or C4YW, organized by the Young Survival Coalition (YSC) and created specifically for young women affected by breast cancer and those who support them.

After finishing treatment for breast cancer, I attended my first C4YW in 2007 in Washington D.C., where close to 1,000 young women gathered for a weekend of learning and networking.  It was the first time I was with other young women who really ‘got’ what I was going through.  Over three days, leading health care professionals presented the latest medical and psychosocial updates on breast cancer in young women.  The workshops included everything from ‘fighting cancer one meal at a time’ to sexuality and intimacy issues.  I learned that understanding breast cancer biology and pathology can go a long way to taking control of my treatment and recovery.

A group of young survivors show their O-H-I-O pride.

I will never forget the kaleidoscope of emotions that weekend…fear, anger, empathy, hope and most importantly, survival.  My circle of support instantly widened with the friendships I made with other young survivors around the country.  Attending C4YW was a catalyst for me to move forward and embrace breast cancer advocacy… it’s been an amazing. life-changing experience.

My sincere wish would be that every young woman diagnosed with breast cancer has the opportunity to attend C4YW and realize that she is not alone.
Medha Deoras-Sutliff
Education/Support Programming Chair, Executive Council
Young Survival Coalition – Central Ohio Affiliate

If you would like to attend the C4YW, but need assistance with registration fee or travel costs, please email our Director of Community Outreach at outreach@komencolumbus.org about Travel Scholarship opportunities. Komen Columbus will offer two young survivors that have not attended the C4YW conference before an opportunity to go free-of-charge. Deadline to register and make travel arrangements is February 4th.

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