This holiday season our goal is to raise $60,000, so that more young people living with cancer, HIV, sickle cell and rare genetic disorders can attend a 3-day residential Next Step Campference in 2023, at no cost to them or their family. We are more than halfway to our goal! If you have already donated – thank you!
Ethan, a Next Step participant, lives with a rare genetic disorder. Growing up he was quiet and afraid to be open about his health, thinking he would be seen as weak. So Ethan exhausted himself, both physically and mentally, trying to keep up with his healthier classmates, and when he couldn’t, was doubted or criticized by those around him who just didn’t understand.
Then Ethan heard about Next Step’s FREE skill-building programs, including self-advocacy, and had to be a part of it. The experience changed his life.
“You see the other participants at Next Step, they’re doing it. They are asking for help. They are being vulnerable. It’s not easy.” -Ethan-
Because of you, Ethan had a safe place to practice sharing his medical story with people who “get it” and to learn self-advocacy strategies from older peers who have walked in his shoes. Using these hard-earned skills, Ethan’s college teachers, coaches, family and friends better understand what is necessary for him to thrive in his life, not just survive. You helped Ethan turn his life around.
“I am not afraid to be vulnerable, it is a strength. Now I’m an advocate for myself.” -Ethan-
Watch Ethan below describe who he is today compared to before Next Step. You can help more seriously ill young people become a self-advocate as they try to create more opportunities in their lives. Click here to donate to the 2022 Next Step Annual Fund. Thank you. Happy Holidays!