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Photo of Ashley V.

Ashley was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia as a young adult. “When I got my cancer diagnosis, I was 35 years old. I remember hearing the words ‘acute myeloid leukemia’ and I broke down, I cried. My parents who were staying with me cried.”

A cancer diagnosis can lead to major life changes happening quickly. “My particular disease comes on fast and furiously,” Ashley shared. “It has a really strong personality and I had two days to process and plan for a month-long induction of chemotherapy.”

As her treatment plan continued, she felt the need to connect with people in similar situations. “I started to feel really alone so I started Googling around.”

Ashley’s online searches led her to CancerCare, where she joined support groups both for patients in active treatment and for post-treatment survivors. “Even if our stories were different, our treatments, our journeys were different, it was this safe space where that was OK and it really helped cultivate this sense of patience for myself and the process of survivorship.”

She gained a new sense of self-confidence by connecting with others in CancerCare support groups. “It gave me the courage to advocate for myself. I felt that encouragement through the other cancer survivors in the support group.”

Ashley’s experience with CancerCare gave her connection and strength. “What you do is critical because it brings the human care and component back into cancer treatment and survivorship,” she said. “They also make you feel less alone and they’re able to reach out a hand to really help you feel seen and give you the option of resources to move forward in that really scary journey.”

“I am so grateful for the experience I had with CancerCare and their support groups and I really am not sure if I would feel as strong as I feel today without that experience.”

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