Your Dollars, Making an Impact: Young Survival Coalition

Ever wonder how your donation dollars help? Where does the money go and who does it directly help? Komen Columbus has a proud tradition of partnering with many organizations to help men and women who are underserved and uninsured in our 30-county service area. This year alone, we granted nearly $2 million to support 34 programs in Central and Southeastern Ohio communities. This milestone moment would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors, Race participants and all those people who give to Komen Columbus. For the next 20 weeks, we will feature our grantees so you can see and read how your dollars are making an impact.

When you’re in your 20’s or early 30’s, the last thing you are thinking of is breast cancer. But sadly, each year, approximately 70,000 men and women ages 15 to 39 are diagnosed with cancer in the country. Breast cancer accounts for roughly 15% of all cancers in this age group.

The Columbus chapter of the Young Survival Coalition (YSC) was founded in 2002 with the goal of helping young women with unique and specific problems that stem from a breast cancer diagnosis. While a diagnosis of breast cancer is devastating at any age, it is especially so for young women.  A breast cancer diagnosis at the very beginning of a woman’s adult life can derail her career path; affect her ability to bear children, impact her ability to partner and for many, lead to premature death.  The goal of YSC is that no young woman is left to face this disease alone.

YSC has been a Komen Columbus grantee for seven years. Komen funds are used to provide resources such as education materials, patient navigation tools and a support group to discuss specific issues of being diagnosed and going through treatment before the age of 40. To make a bigger impact with your donation dollars, the YSC has expanded its resources and support system to Komen Columbus’ 30-county service area as well.

Program Director Jennifer Whaley says there is a great need in our community to have this program and emphasizes that being diagnosed with breast cancer is not a “one size fits all” diagnosis. Just like there are various types of breast cancer, there is also a big difference between the emotional and physical challenges for a woman diagnosed at the age of 20 versus 40 or older.

As one young breast cancer patient, shared, “Imagine dating while going through chemo and/or radiation therapy; or finding out you have breast cancer after you meet the man of your dreams. What do you say? How do you explain?”

“The generous funding from Komen Columbus enables these programs and support to continue in our community. Without this funding we would not be able to reach young women and give them the foundation they need to feel hopeful during this challenging journey. Our mission is to let these young women know they are not alone.” said Whaley.

To read more about what YSC does in our community, click here.

For a complete list of all our Komen Columbus grantees and the services and programs they provide, click here.