You Can Connect – www.YouCan.org.au

Within 12 hours of hearing the words “you have Leukaemia,” Ryan Fenton, aged 16 from Darwin, was whisked off to Adelaide, where he would be able to receive the treatment that would save his life. At a time when Ryan was starting Year 12 studies, his life was flipped upside down, taken away from family and the only friends he knew, to face a battle for his life over the next 12 months.

A recent study of adolescents or young adults with cancer in Australia found that nearly 1 in 3 young people with cancer claimed there is a lack of peer support despite over 60% claiming it was something they needed. A stark contrast to young Americans with only 14% feeling there is a lack of peer support. While Sony Foundation is working to fund and build youth cancer centres around Australia, we often hear of the stories of so many young people that we have not yet been able to reach, who feel alone and isolated with many never even meeting another person their age going through what they are.

To ensure all those on their cancer journey, either in treatment or adjusting to survivorship, have a place where they can go for when they can’t talk to their parents or when their mates don’t get it, a place where they won’t have to censor their journey, You Can has launched You Can Connect – a revolutionary peer support online networking platform to help break down barriers of regional isolation and create support networks so desperately needed. In partnership with three time Webby awarded US cancer networking site, IHadCancer.com, and with youth cancer advocates from around Australia, Sony Foundation has developed a variation of the successful platform specifically designed for 15-35 year old Australians to share, connect and thrive.

Please visit www.youcan.org.au and be part of the growing community of patients, survivors and supporters.

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