3 Perspectives of YSC’s Regional Symposium

Just three weeks ago, YSC hosted its first Regional Symposium in the South. Jackson Mississippi welcomed us with open arms as nearly 100 young women affected by breast cancer, co-survivors and healthcare providers came together for a full day of learning, empowerment and hope. We were thrilled to co-host the Symposium with the Gulf States Young Breast Cancer Survivor Network, which includes SurviveAL, SurviveDAT and SurviveMISS. The event included inspirational speakers and plenty of time to connect and network with one another.

I interviewed three Symposium attendees about their thoughts and experience before, during and after the event. Here’s what they had to say:

, diagnosed at age 36, YSC Arkansa State Leader

WendyWhat did you hope to gain from attending the Symposium?
I attended because I wanted to gain more knowledge on other types of breast cancer, which has affected so many people I come in contact with. I also hoped to be more accessible to all cancer survivors as a voice to help them get the best treatment possible.

What was your favorite thing about the Symposium?
My favorite parts were the individual sessions because they gave everyone a chance to bond on a more personable level.

Do you have any tips or take-aways to share with others interested in attending future YSC conferences?
I offer this advice to anyone who’s considering attending a YSC event – come fully expecting to walk away a different person from all the event has to offer. I won’t give away too much, just come on out and see for yourself!

How has attending the Symposium impacted you?
This symposium has left me feeling like I need to do more in my own community with the tools that have been shared.


Shauntice Allen, PhD, Public Health Researcher, IMG_9739Regional Advisory Board Member for SurviveAL and currently living with metastatic breast cancer after an initial Stage I diagnosis in 2012.

Dr. Allen hosted two work sessions at the Regional Symposium – Relationships and Intimacy: Embracing My Relationships Now and Relationships and Intimacy: My New Body, My New Self.

What did you hope to gain from attending the Symposium?
I hoped to gain a new network of those living with metastatic breast cancer. I had an opportunity to meet women across the Southeast who provided me with a new sense of hope as it related to metastatic breast cancer.

What was your favorite thing about the Symposium?
I enjoyed the dinner and opportunity to relax with participants. I also thoroughly enjoyed the sessions I facilitated; it sparked great conversation and new insights for those in attendance and for myself.

Do you have any tips or take-aways to share with others interested in attending future YSC conferences?
Make sure to attend a YSC conference or regional symposium – the information and relationships gained are priceless.


David, Co-survivor to his wife Jami Watson, who was diagnosed at 33 and a YSC Mississippi State Leader and F2F Coordinator

Craig and JamiWhat did you hope to gain from attending the Symposium?
As a co-survivor to my wife, Jami, I was hoping to just be a support for her by attending, as has been my typical role with this journey. She did, however, encourage me to go for the co-survivor sessions.

What was your favorite thing about the Symposium?
At this event, there was a session specifically for us co-survivors that allowed for us to each share our wives’ stories but from our perspective. For the first time I actually shared with other men the journey my wife and I have had with breast cancer and I was able to hear their personal stories of struggle and victory.

Do you have any tips or take-aways to share with others interested in attending future YSC conferences?
If you’re a co-survivor reading this and wondering if it’ll be worth your time to go to a YSC event like this, don’t wonder anymore. It IS worth every minute. You’ll be blessed, encouraged, and enlightened; and most of all, your survivor spouse will most definitely feel supported and loved. I came away with an even greater appreciation for the Young Survival Coalition; what this organization is doing for women (and co-survivors) is unprecedented and is a noble and worthy cause! My wife and I will continue to support YSC and look forward to the next event.

How has attending the Symposium impacted you?
As the Symposium progressed, I gained more perspective of how far-reaching breast cancer is in these women’s lives. I met women who had beaten this cancer multiple times, others who are currently battling metastatic disease, and women who were newly diagnosed; all of whom were strong, courageous, willing to share experiences and gain more strength from those around them. Heck, even some of the medical professionals speaking at the event were breast cancer survivors or current patients! It was encouraging to see these women in all stages of the battle there celebrating victory and refusing to let cancer beat them, no matter what part of the battle they were in.

Did you attend the YSC Regional Symposium in Jackson, MS? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Please share your experiences in the comments section below. 


Are you now interested in attending YSC’s next big event? You’re in luck! The YSC National Summit is less than 4 weeks away and we’d love to see you there. Join us in Atlanta, GA from March 11 to 13 for the largest conference for young women affected by breast cancer and their co-survivors.

Register today at summit.youngsurvival.org/Registration
Fee waiver applications will also be available until February 16.
For more details and to apply: summit.youngsurvival.org/Waivers



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