COVID-19, YSC & You
by Jennifer Merschdorf, Chief Executive Officer on March 19, 2020
For many of us, everything that once felt normal has shifted into uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s so easy for uncertainty to then shift into fear, but it’s important to remember that we are uniquely familiar with uncertainty and fear as young adults who have faced cancer.
Your experience with cancer has taught you so much! This may be a time that your friends and family can look to you. What you have learned about self-care and managing anxiety could be so valuable to them. Consider opening up about your experience with working through the uncertainty that cancer brings.
To help care for you, YSC remains open and available. We are a national organization with many staff members who work remotely. While we’ve closed our New York City headquarters and Atlanta office, we are uniquely positioned to transition immediately to online work, maintaining continual support for you.
As we all practice social distancing, I want to remind you of the many ways you can stay connected through YSC.
- YSC’s Private Facebook group just for survivors and thrivers
- YSC’s Private Facebook Group for co-survivors
- YSC’s online Virtual Hangouts
- If you regularly meet with your Face 2 Face group, contact your F2F coordinator if you’re interested in an online option.
- We also have a licensed clinical oncology social worker on staff you can email at [email protected].
Many of you know we postponed our annual YSC Summit scheduled to take place in Los Angeles, CA, March 6-8, 2020. With 600 registrants and 19 international attendees affected by breast cancer, 38 speakers, 108 exhibitors and sponsors, a healthcare provider meeting and a large cancellation fee, the decision was challenging to make. But we knew it was the right one.
I will be totally honest – we are still working through what all of this means. We’re working with the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles to secure new dates. Many of our sponsors and exhibitors have expressed support and a desire to come back. We hope to announce new dates the first week of April and are looking at November 2020 as of right now.
Finding Reliable Information
At YSC, we strongly believe in making evidence-based decisions from reliable sources – and this current situation is no different. If you are struggling with how to find reliable information on what is happening, we recommend looking to the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. We also highly recommend following your local health department for guidance. What might work in New York City could be irrelevant in a smaller town in Nebraska.
Self-Care Tips for Right Now
- Be kind to yourself.
- Limit exposure to the headlines.
- Avoid dwelling on things you can’t control.
- But take action with what you can control.
- Engage in whatever works for your own personal care. It’s more important now than ever.
- And always remember to ask for help if you need it!
We are going to make it through this pandemic as a YSC community.
Your YSC and Tour de Pink communities are here for you.
You are not alone.
Stay healthy and safe,
CEO of Young Survival Coalition
Diagnosed age 36