** The following article highlights free resources and programs that might be of particular interest to the young adult community; these are also available to all blood cancer patients, including the families and caregivers of adolescents with a blood cancer. We encourage parents/guardians of minors (up to age 18) to request a free copy of the “Caring for Kids And Adolescents With Blood Cancer” workbook by calling 800-955-4572 and to learn more below about ways LLS can help.
Here at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), we hear every day from blood cancer patients, families, and caregivers of all ages and from all walks of life. On the heels of Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week, which is marked the first week of April, LLS knows that a cancer diagnosis can bring plans to a screeching halt — especially for young adults between the ages of 18 and 39 who are often embarking on new journeys or pursuing personal and professional goals. The experience can cause physical side effects as well as psychological and psychosocial effects that can be detrimental. Treatment can be isolating and might cause long-term health complications such as an increased risk of developing a second cancer later in life, compromised organ function, and fertility issues.
It’s important for all blood cancer patients and families to have an adequate support system during their cancer experience.
LLS understands the unique concerns and needs specific to young adults who have been diagnosed with or have survived leukemia, lymphoma, or other types of blood cancer. Perhaps it’s their first time experiencing a serious illness and they might feel uncomfortable talking about their diagnosis with others. Or they might have questions about what to expect during and after treatment.
No matter their questions or concerns, LLS is here to help.
Below are some of LLS’s many programs available with resources and groups dedicated exclusively to young adults dealing with or who have survived blood cancer.
- Information Specialists are trained oncology nurses and social workers who offer personalized support throughout the entire cancer journey into survivorship. They provide accurate and up-to-date information about blood cancers, clinical trials, nutrition resources, and more as well as help navigate financial and social challenges young adults might encounter. Our Information Specialists are available by phone at (800) 955-4572, email and chat. They can communicate with you in more than 300 languages.
- LLS’s Weekly Online Chat is an open forum moderated by oncology social workers. with groups dedicated to different communities affected by blood cancer including young adults and parents of adolescents dealing with cancer and cancer survivorship.
- LLS Community, A Project of the Michael J. Garil Data Collective, is an online forum that features a group specifically devoted to the young adult cancer community.
- Patti Robinson Kaufmann First Connection Program connects blood cancer patients and families with trained peer volunteers who have shared similar experiences. Young adults can receive or volunteer to provide peer support.
- Support Groups are offered locally, in person and provide mutual support and education to members who may feel a little less alone by meeting with others whose situations are like their own.
- LLS Scholarship for Blood Cancer Survivors was established because we know how challenging it can be to plan for your future during or after cancer treatment. And the high cost of cancer care can make affording higher education difficult. For those who apply and are eligible, LLS provides up to $7,500 to cover tuition for virtual or in-person vocational, two-year, or four-year undergraduate education for one year. Survivors can reapply for the scholarship each year as long as they are eligible.
- Financial Assistance is available to help those diagnosed with blood cancer. We offer a number of programs for patients to help offset costs related to treatment and non-medical expenses such as travel, groceries, and more.
- Survivorship Workbooks are designed to help patients and caregivers collect all the important information needed throughout diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care and long-term management of a blood cancer. Specific workbooks are available for young adults, as well as adults, children and adolescents.
In addition to these, LLS has a host of free informational and educational resources including The Bloodline podcast, webcasts and videos, downloadable booklets and more. Click here for the full list.
This article was originally published April 6, 2023, by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It is republished with permission.