A PATIENT receives chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer at the Antoine-Lacassagne Cancer Center in Nice.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ERIC GAILLARD)
Each year, 3,800 young Israelis (18 to 44) are diagnosed with cancer – 10 young people every day. On one clear day, the hard news comes to them, and they find themselves torn between coping with the disease and coping with the difficult challenges experienced by all the young people of these ages: studies, careers, relation- ships, sexuality, fertility and small children. For them, the Stop Cancer community was established to assist them in coping with the illness and afterward. The community, supported by MSD, has more than 20,000 patients and young people recovering and it is celebrating two years of existence.
Stop Cancer’s uniqueness lies in a platform that enables members of the community to lead in various fields. Like the hothouse for entrepreneurship in the business market, members of the community are social entrepreneurs who manage projects for and from the community. This platform is considered unique on a national and international level in this respect.
In the past year, members of the community have initiated a number of projects for the benefit of those recuperating, among them the “Stop Unemployment” project, which aims to bring those recuperating back to the employment market. Roni Karet, the director of the employment project and a member of the Stop Cancer community, says, “Suddenly all my cards were mixed up and I no longer knew what I wanted to do, nor did I know what I was in. My priorities changed, my physical strength changed,” she says of the post-treatment period in which she was defined as free of cancer and healthy. “Yes, I was at home, I was sick for a long time, but as a result of the cancer I am a more optimistic person, I am good at working under conditions of pressure and uncertainty, and this is something that is valuable to potential employers. From that thought I set out.”
Two other initiatives are the Dialogue Circles for Couples, which aims to strengthen the young couples who are coping with the illness of their partner and with small children and Stop Desert, where groups go on a journey in the desert where they meet friends and healers who are exactly in the same situation as them.
The board of graduates also relies on community members and allows every young person who has recovered from cancer to pass on the good and accompany a community member who has now received the news of the cancer and can not yet navigate his life in this complicated complex. Graduates become friends, big brothers, who are there to answer any question, embrace and contain when the rest of the world simply can not understand what they are going through at that point in time.
The community page is open and invites every patient or young person recovering from cancer
to take part in the activities of the page and to initiate new activities for members of the community.
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