A cancer diagnosis can be devastating enough, but young women can feel alone in their struggles. For example, breast cancer typically strikes after the age of 50, leading people to erroneously believe breast cancer is only the concern of women middle-aged or older. But of the over 200,000 women diagnosed every year, 11,000 are UNDER 40. Most do not know any others their age who have the disease, and they feel isolated in their very different challenges such as motherhood and fertility concerns.SHOUT was founded in June 2006 by two breast cancer survivors, Molly Fritch and Sandi Troup. Diagnosed at ages 31 and 32, they recognized a need for other young survivors to connect and set out to create SHOUT: Strength, Healing, Optimism, Understanding, Together.
Although SHOUT originally started as a breast cancer support group, we quickly realized the impact to young women is very similar, no matter what the cancer, and decided early on to include all young women cancer survivors. As word gets out, we have seen many other cancers represented in the group to include cervical, ovarian, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and brain cancers. We have grown to over 100 members from across the State, and continue to have new contacts nearly every week – a testament to the need for companionship through these tough times!
To provide peer support to young women cancer survivors through fellowship and outreach programs and to increase awareness of cancer and other young women’s health issues through community education.