In 2012, Lymphoma Canada (LC) donated $14,000 to Young Adults Cancer Canada (YACC), a donation made possible from the proceeds of the 2011 Harvest Ball, a fundraising event in held in Oakville, ON, organized by Sue Warden.
In 2012, Lymphoma Canada (LC) donated $14,000 to Young Adults Cancer Canada (YACC), a donation made possible from the proceeds of the 2011 Harvest Ball, a fundraising event in held in Oakville, ON, organized by Sue Warden. Funds donated allowed 17 young adult lymphoma cancer survivors to attend one of three retreat events organized throughout Canada by YACC.
The Harvest Ball fundraiser event began in October 2008 when Sue Warden decided to raise money for Lymphoma Canada. After discovering that her son, Nicholas, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 18, Sue was driven to inform young adults about lymphoma and create awareness for this group of cancers. There were over 300 attendees at the first Harvest Ball and $8,000 was raised. Sadly, Nicholas passed away one year later. To keep his memory alive, Sue and her husband, Martin Benum, organized the Harvest Ball for the second year. Over the course of three years, Sue and Martin have successfully raised $34,000 for Lymphoma Canada, passionately ensuring that young adults are educated about lymphoma and have the support they need after being diagnosed.
Lymphoma is on the rise among young adults in Canada. However, LC’s donation has given YACC the ability to continue to support young adults through the difficult news of discovering they have lymphoma. YACC seeks to build a community of young adults diagnosed with cancer and provide them with the support, information, skills and opportunities they need to face the challenges ahead of them. “I’ve been given an opportunity to open up about my experience, share what works for me and learn what works for others,” says Hodgkin’s patient Russel. “This experience has changed my life!”
YACC organizes three large retreats, across Canada, for young adults with cancer – Retreat Yourself West (RYW), Retreat Yourself East (RYE), and Retreat Yourself Adventure (RYA). Geoff Eaton, President of YACC, explains that “the aim of these programs is to not only build a community of young adults facing cancer and eliminate their feelings of isolation, but to also empower them with the skills necessary to take control of their journeys and make the rest of their lives the best of their lives.”
Retreaters with lymphoma represent a significant percentage of the overall total at the retreats. This year at the RYW in Morley, Alberta, 29.4 per cent of attendees were lymphoma survivors. At the RYE in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia 40.9 per cent were lymphoma retreaters and at RYA in Gros Morne, Newfoundland and Labrador, 44.4 per cent were lymphoma retreaters. Stage 4 lymphoma patient Sarah was in attendance at this year’s RYE. “This retreat is the first time in a long while that I have felt even remotely normal,” she shared. It is extremely important to LC to continue to provide education and support to young adults in Canada so that these individuals can receive what they need from their peers within the lymphoma community.