Here at the Oncofertility Consortium, we're huge fans - both personally and professionally - of Matthew Zachary, the force behind Stupid Cancer; the nation's largest support community of young adult survivors of cancer. Created in 2004 (first as Steps for Living, then transitioning into I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation, and now Stupid Cancer), it has grown into a powerhouse resource for young cancer survivors; giving them a platform for their issues, creating a community of young adult cancer patients and survivors, and putting them in the national spotlight.
One of Stupid Cancer's wide-reaching programs, is The Stupid Cancer Show; an award-winning international talk show that gives a voice to millions of children, teens, and adults affected by cancer. Their September 30, 2013 show invited listeners to learn more about Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer. I don't want to give too much away - because the show is definitely worth listening to - but you will meet Michelle Whitehead-Hastings, a young wife and mother currently battling stage-4 colon cancer. She discusses the road to her diagnosis, treatment, remission, and recurrence and how she communicates with her young children about her cancer. Up next, Colleen Cira, a survivor of pediatric cancer, discusses long-term effects of treatment, including fertility issues, and outlines her experience with programs offered at Northwestern. From there, you will be given insight into the clinical side of fertility preservation and cancer survivorship from Northwestern's Fertility Preservation Patient Navigator, Kristin Smith, and Clinical Nurse Specialist, Karen Kinahan, RN, from the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University's comprehensive follow-up STAR-Program for adult survivors of childhood cancer. Both women are instrumental in assisting our patients through the cancer continuum.
The unique stories and perspectives shared during The Stupid Cancer Show allows listeners to learn about the challenges faced by patients diagnosed with cancer, those who have transitioned into survivorship, and the clinicians and hospital staff that are with them at each step. Click here to listen to The Stupid Cancer Show highlighting the Oncofertility Consortium's own Kristin Smith and Karen Kinahan, RN.
After listening to The Stupid Cancer Show, I invite you to view Virtual Grand Rounds by Karen Kinahan, RN titled Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer and Fertility. For questions regarding fertility preservation options in cancer patients, please contact the FERTline at (312) 503-3378.