Stupid Cancer Boot Camp - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Stupid Cancer Boot Camp

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Cancer is a pretty stupid disease.

Everyone suffers from it, but some young adults in Billings often don't know where to turn for answers. Jennifer Owen describes her plea to god to die following her 31-year-old late husband's tragic battle with esophageal cancer.

"I spent a lot of time begging god just to end my life, just take me," says Owen.

But now, she's honoring her late husband by helping other young adults who suffer with the disease.

"Its not just us providing resources to young adults, its young adults getting a chance to tell their story, for us to honor their experience. for us to be able to say you know you are not alone, but we get that what you're going through is unlike anything that you already have," says Owen.

According to Billings Clinic Cancer Programs Manager Karyl Blaseg, Billings Clinic has many different support programs for cancer patients and caregivers, but up until recently, had none specifically tailored to young adults.

"Then as we listened to her story we realized that there was a gap in our community that we didn't have a lot of support and networking opportunities for young adults with cancer," says Blaseg.

Karyl and Jennifer decided to work together to make the Stupid Cancer Boot Camp happen in Billings.

"Its a one day event where get to talk about the issues that are relevant to people under forty facing cancer. Everything from dating and sexuality, to workplace issues, to fertility, to caregiver guilt, to talking about your children," says Owen.

Together they've created an agenda and a panel of experts who will speak, addressing questions unique to young adults faced with cancer.

"There can be challenges with bringing the topic up when you're dating someone that you've experienced cancer and what the ramifications are for the future," says Blaseg.

It's about empowering young adults and telling people, you may have cancer, but cancer doesn't have you. Stupid Cancer Boot Camp is July 27th at Rocky Mountain College's Prescott Hall. It's a free event, lasting from 10 AM to 3 PM. To register call Billings Clinic at 406-255-8440.

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