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Take Care creating a social care network for young adults with cancer

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

ChelseaWhen Chelsea Campbell heard a talk at UWaterloo about how technology can be used to for good in society, she had what she calls a ‘light bulb moment.’ The next day, an ad for GreenHouse popped up on her computer, and she knew that this was where she would go.

A third-year Social Development Studies student, Chelsea had always thought she would work in medicine, and then she became acquainted with the medical system from the inside, as a young adult who experienced cancer. It was this lived experience, plus her passion and compassion, that led her to create a social network for youth and young adults living with cancer.

“I had great medical care but there’s a gap around the social aspect. There are play-based programs for pediatric patients, and support groups for adults, but there’s a big difference between an 18-year-old with cancer and a 60-year-old,” says Chelsea, who adds that often friends of young adults with cancer don’t know what to say or do, and walk away at a time when a social group means the world.

Chelsea is creating an app-based platform for youth and young adults with cancer, to provide six pillars of connection: to peers, online support, resources, programs, support groups, health community, and a forum for sharing creative outlets. Having concluded her research, she is talking with potential partners and stakeholders, as well as beginning the creation phase. She hopes to pilot the app locally.

“GreenHouse is amazing for connecting you with people you wouldn’t even have had on your radar. It’s encouraging to hear how passionate people at GreenHouse are about their projects: It reminds me that this world is good and that we’re all world changers here, passionate and ready to go.”

Chelsea’s biggest challenge is a sense of urgency. “I know I need to get this done because people really need this and will benefit from this. That desire to create radical change for them is so empowering.”

Listen to the podcast about Take Care Click here