Young Adult Cancer Patients Finding Hope

Cancer is often called a disease of old age as it mostly strikes people in their 50s and 60s and beyond–it’s relatively rare for those under 30. That’s why it’s so hard for young adults to find others like themselves that truly understand what having cancer is like. But when they do, something special happens. Not long ago I heard a young adult cancer survivor explain how she made it through her treatment, “When I met someone my age with cancer, I knew there was hope.”


Deanna Drake

I’ve often seen that hope in that look that young adult cancer patients share as they pass each other walking with their IV poles down the hall of the hospital. They understand what it’s like to be yanked from newly started careers or graduate programs. They know what it’s like to wonder if you’ll achieve that family life you wanted or if that partner will stay with you through all the treatment that lies ahead. The young adult cancer experience is unique, and a community of support that “gets it” can be life-saving.

Part of my work as a chaplain at SCCA is to provide space for patients to process and explore their beliefs, hopes, fears, and strengths. Within this space, patients reflect on their life’s meaning and the meaning of life in general. They ask amazingly bold and difficult questions and examine their belief systems with rigor. They mine their spirituality for wisdom that works for them, and they come out stronger for having done so. Therefore, I wanted to create an open space for multiple patients and survivors to have the opportunity to share their growth and process with each other.

If you are a former or current cancer patient between the ages of 18-39, please join us for a series of one hour sessions on Wednesday nights in October, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the SCCA Sanctuary. These sessions are open to all those that are seeking to attach meaning to their experience. We will share our stories and discuss issues that are specific to the young adult cancer experience.  Please email me at by September 15 so that we can send you preparation materials in advance. See you in October!

Deanna Drake is a chaplain at SCCA.


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    SCCA Clinical Trial Openings

    clinical-trialsListed below are clinical trials that have opened at SCCA in the last several weeks. These trials are looking at new treatments for patients with amyloidosis, chronic myelogenous leukemia, and acute myeloid leukemia. In addition, a new survivorship study is opening at the Hutch for young adult cancer survivors. Check out our website to learn about the more than 200 ongoing clinical trials at SCCA, and follow us on Twitter at @SCCA_Trials  for information about recently opened trials.

    NEOD001 + Standard of Care vs. Placebo Plus Standard of Care for Light Chain (AL) Amyloidosis (20150681)
    A Phase 3, Randomized, Multicenter, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled. 2-Arm, Efficacy and Safety Study of NEOD001 Plus Standard of Care vs. Placebo Plus Standard of Care in Subjects with Light Chain (AL) Amyloidosis

    Bosutinib versus Imatinib for Newly Diagnosed Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (9210)
    A Multicenter Phase 3 Randomized, Open-Label Study of Bosutinib versus Imatinib in Adult Patients with Newly Diagnosed Chronic Phase Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

    Crenolanib + Cytarabine and Anthracyclines for Newly Diagnosed Acute Myeloid Leukemia with FLT3 Activating Mutations (9351)
    A Safety and Tolerability Trial of Crenolanib and Chemotherapy with Cytarabine and Anthracyclines in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Acute Myeloid Leukemia with FLT3 Activating Mutations

    Young Adult Cancer Survivor Network Study (9161)
    Young Adult Cancer Survivor Network Study of the Essential Elements of Care (YA-EEC-14)


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      Seattle Met’s 2015 Top Doctors

      Seattle Met is out with its 10th Annual List of Top Doctors in the Puget Sound region. It’s no surprise that many familiar names appear on this year’s list. Selections were based on an online survey of physicians throughout the region who were asked “If you or a loved one needed medical care, whom would you choose?”

      The 39 SCCA health care professionals on this year’s list include:


      Congratulations to the doctors who made this year’s list!

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        Swim Across America: One Month Countdown


        We’re one month away from Swim Across America.  For you procrastinators, or those who have been hesitant to take the plunge, it’s not too late to sign up! This Lake Washington open water swim event will take place Sept. 12 at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island. SCCA is the event beneficiary as participants fundraise and swim distances ranging from a 1/2-mile to 2 miles. There is also a Kid’s Splash for children 11 and younger who are able to swim 50 meters.

        What if swimming isn’t your forté? Not a problem! You don’t have to be a swimmer to volunteer for the event. More information on volunteering can be found here. To date, Swim Across America has raised more than $1,000,000 for cancer research, prevention, and treatment at SCCA since the event started in 2009.

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          Grassroots for SCCA

          Here’s a quick roundup of ongoing and upcoming local events to benefit SCCA—and a recap from a recent fundraiser. For information on how you can get involved with SCCA – by volunteering, sponsoring a community event, or making a donation—check out our How to Help page.

          Be Positive: A patient’s campaign to spread positivity 
          bepositiveRather than being fearful after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, Brian Tracy is choosing to be positive. His “Be Positive” campaign has garnered support across the country and funds from the shirts will go to SCCA.  Learn more about Brian’s story here.

          Dragonfish Asian Café/Kestrel Vintners August fundraiser
          Is there better way to enjoy the summer weather than with a glass of wine? During the month of August 25 cents will be donated to SCCA for every glass of Kestrel wine purchased at Dragonfish Asian Café. Dragonfish holds a fundraiser every August for a local charity and we are fortunate that this year they chose SCCA.

          Stairing is Caring: September Safeco Field climb event
          stairingcaringNow you have no excuse to not use the stairs at work. Stairing is Caring is a stair-climbing event that will take place September 20. Several local companies—including Zillow, Expedia, HBO, and Hotwire—are signed up to climb the stairs at Safeco Field while raising money for SCCA. It’s not too late for your company to join in on the fun—and get a nice calf workout! Sign up here.

          Thank you to our speed crabbers!
          speedcrabbing-110The Puget Sound Speed-Crabbing Derby raised more than $3,800 for SCCA last month. This annual event saw a 50 percent increase in participation and we thank everyone who joined in. We hope you enjoyed your catch!

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