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14 ways you can participate in National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week

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Join teen cancer survivors, families, friends and loved ones in the 12th annual National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week: March 31-April 6, 2014. Check out this list to see if there is at least one way for you to participate.

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  1. Read a memoir of a young person living with cancer like “This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl” by Esther Earl with Lori and Wayne Earl or “Regine’s Book: A Teen Girl’s Last Words” by Regine Stokke.
  2. Read “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green, a young adult fiction title dedicated to Esther Earl by John Green. Read the book before the movie’s scheduled USA release date of June 6, 2014. Movie details are available on IMDB.
  3. Watch the introduction to “Moving Forward: Perspectives from Survivors and Doctors.” It introduces a patient education video series for young adults with cancer from American Society of Clinical Oncology (ANCO) and LIVESTRONG Foundation. There are twelve topics in the series addressing issues including work, managing pain, fear of dying, family and friends, diet and exercise, school, dating and sexuality, body changes, and fertility. The full series can be viewed here.
  4. Discover local resources. The American Cancer Society (ACS) has a searchable database you can use to help find local support programs and services to help people with cancer.
  5. Join an online community like PlanetCancer, a LIVESTRONG initiative, or WhatNext, with ACS connections, where people connect and share firsthand experiences about living with cancer.
  6. Become an advocate. Join the Cancer Advocacy Network, the nonprofit, nonpartisan affiliate of the American Cancer Society. Select your state to find current updates and action steps you can take right now.
  7. Volunteer. Search on VolunteerMatch.org for a virtual or real-life opportunity that matches your abilities with a current need.
  8. Donate or participate in a fundraising event with American Cancer Society like Relay for Life, DetermiNation, CEOs Against Cancer or a golf tournament.
  9. Quit smoking. If you smoke, send an e-card announcing today as your Quit Day.
  10. Encourage a friend who’s trying to quit smoking. Send an e-card to let him or her know you’re available to help.
  11. Get screened for colon cancer. According to the ACS, “colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States among men and women.” If you’re 50 or over, it’s time for a colon exam.
  12. Skim the list of books on Goodreads entitled “Books to Read When a Family Member Has Cancer.” There are currently 45 titles of the list. Select one for further reading.
  13. Read the Huffington Post blog post “The Evolution of Young Adult Cancer Awareness” by Heidi Adams, President and CEO of Critical Mass: The Young Adult Cancer Alliance and author of "Planet Cancer: The Frequently Bizarre Yet Always Informative Experiences and Thoughts of Your Fellow Natives."
  14. Blog for Regine. ZestBooks is hosting a blogathon. Visit the site and read tributes and reflective posts submitted by other bloggers. Submit your own entry.
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