Joanne Hayashi is a Young Survival Coalition State Leader and Face 2 Face Coordinator. She co-created Breast Cancer Hawaii to curate valuable resources and ways to connect for young women living in Hawaii. We are honored to present Joanne Hayashi as a YSC Game Changer for her work as a volunteer.
What inspires you in your work to support, empower or educate young women affected by breast cancer?
When I was going through chemotherapy, I met a young survivor with the same diagnosis as me who had completed her treatments a year prior. Meeting someone who had gone through the same experiences, who was now fully living life, gave me hope and changed my outlook on my diagnosis. I volunteer for YSC to help young survivors connect with each other and help provide a forum for hope and support.
What about your work for young women affected by breast cancer makes you most proud?
Our local Face2Face meetup group also holds events to give back to the cancer community. During Christmas season last year, we made “Hope Jars” filled with positive and hopeful messages for patients currently undergoing treatment. In August, we will be going back to the facility to hold a healthy cooking workshop and cook 60 healthy meals for patients and their co-survivors.
I am proud of our group because, despite the daunting challenges that we continue to face, we’ve been able to convert our experiences into something that has a positive impact on others.
What are your hopes for the future, with regard to YSC and young breast cancer survivors?
The hope is that healthcare providers and the community at large better understand the unique needs and challenges of young survivors to better support them during and after treatments.
What is your message for YSC on its 20th anniversary?
Thank you to YSC, its Board of Directors and its staff members for everything that you do to support young women with breast cancer. Thanks to YSC, young survivors are informed and empowered and no longer have to feel alone in their journey.
About YSC and Game Changers
Young Survival Coalition was founded in 1998 by young women diagnosed with breast cancer under age 35.
YSC is made up of people: survivors, co-survivors, volunteers, donors, healthcare providers. Our strength comes from our community. So in our 20th year, we will honor our roots — the people who have helped build YSC into what it is today — and also look forward, recognizing those in our community who are changing the future of breast cancer in young women.
We are highlighting these individuals as Game Changers throughout 2018 and sharing their stories with the world to thank them for their contributions to our community.