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Mercy patient Stephanie Lindemann talks about how the AYA (Adolescent/Young Adult) cancer program has been like a second family to her during her cancer treatment.
Steph: “One of my biggest thank-you's goes to the nurses and staff and to Dr. Rob here at the clinic. They for sure are my second family. They welcome you with open arms and make sure that you are treated the best way possible. They jump through hoops and will do anything for any of their patients. I cannot thank them enough, they have treated me like family, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Wil: “Being able to receive treatment in an area with your peers is just a lot more comforting. They’re kind of in the same boat as you, they’re at the same point in their life. Being able to talk to other teens really helps.
Nathan: “While I was very wary about joining Teen Group, when I did I was surprised by how much I liked it. It has given me the opportunity to meet with kids my age who have had some of the same issues and experiences as me.”
Cora: “The cancer center has always been a safe and loving place where I have been able to find comfort even amidst my pain. But ever since the teen and the young adult program was implemented, I've been able to find community and friends as I've never been able to before. Not only are my needs being better met, but the friendships I've been able to develop are amazing, and I no longer feel alone in my experiences. I know it would mean the world to me and the friends I've made in this community to have the space and time to continue this programing. It has truly had such a large and positive impact on my life.”
Dominic: “The Mercy office is the place that saved my life and has given me so much joy over the years. With the recent development of our monthly Teen Group, my love for the office has only grown as it is one of the best things to look forward to every month. It has given me an opportunity to try to help those going through treatment and show them that it's going to be ok. It has given me an opportunity to express some thoughts on my treatment and given me perspective on how treatments may have changed over the years since I've been cured. The AYA program at Mercy, in my opinion, is one of the best programs offered at the office.
Drew: “The teen group is a great thing due to the fact that you get to know people like yourself and maybe find someone who is a good friend.”
Lori (Drew’s mom): “Drew never talked much about his diagnosis, he just knew it was something to get through without questioning why he got Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He knew he had the support of his close friends and family, but after treatment finished, his outlook on life and the high school changed. Drew didn't really want to go to the AYA teen program, but we convinced him to give it a try. He told me that he was glad he did because he could relate to everyone there better than his classmates. AYA has been a blessing for Drew, he has grown and tried new things that he never would have if it wasn't for everyone involved in the AYA teen group.
Mercy's Young Adult Cancer Program is St. Louis' only dedicated program for adolescents and young adults (AYA). For more information: 314-251-6986