Spotlight On: Cancer and Careers

Cancer and Careers

By Guest Blogger Sarah Goodell, Manager of Programs, Cancer and Careers

One of the things that we hear all too frequently at Cancer and Careers is “I wish I’d known that your organization existed sooner”, and we are working to change this every day. 1.66 million new cancer cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. As of 2014, there are more than 14.5 million cancer survivors in the U.S. As the number of cancer survivors in the U.S. continues to grow, there is an increasing need for resources and support to help them get back to everyday life and work after diagnosis and treatment. Cancer and Careers was born 15 years ago to address this need. Our mission is to empower and educate people with cancer to thrive in their workplace, by providing expert advice, interactive tools and educational events.

We do this in a number of ways, including:

  • A comprehensive website in English and Spanish
  • Publications in English and Spanish
  • Job Search Tools and Resume Review Service
  • Professional Development Micro-Grants
  • Accredited Programs for Healthcare Professionals
  • Community Events
  • National and Regional Conferences
  • Balancing Work & Cancer Webinars

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Why We Need Stronger Public Efforts to Prevent Work Disability

The logo for the Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policy Collaborative - S@W/R2W

By Guest Bloggers Jennifer Christian MD, President, Webility Corporation, and Yonatan Ben-Shalom, PhD, Senior Researcher, Mathematica Policy Research

Despite a difficult childhood, Pete had made a good life for himself. He had a wife, two sons, and a landscaping job for a school in a Sun Belt state. Then an accident left him with severe back pain. His employer didn’t want him back until he was “100 percent.”  Spine fusion surgery did not help. Pete lost his job. He believed his neurosurgeon’s unfortunate advice: “Don’t even bother looking for another job.”

The only thing Pete’s doctors did offer was opioid pain relievers. His new life was spent in a recliner, taking pills. Pete grieved the loss of his ability to be a good husband, father, and provider. He didn’t know what else was possible or where to turn.

Pete’s life didn’t need to turn out that way but, sadly, his story is not unusual. Millions of workers lose their jobs each year due to injury or illness. Understandably, most hard-working Americans don’t know the best way to respond when life is turned upside down because they can’t work. Some, like Pete, get both inadequate care and bad advice. Many who might continue to work end up leaving the workforce forever because practical help is not available at a critical time.

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Fielding a Full Team in Rio

Editor’s Note: This blog was cross-posted from the U.S. Department of Labor’s blog.

The spirit of competition and excellence resumes in Rio today, as the 2016 summer Paralympics kick off. At these games, just like at those that recently concluded, elite athletes from around the world will inspire and awe on the field of play. They will shatter records. They’ll also outstrip expectations — on more than one level.

Like all Olympians, each Paralympian has a unique story characterized by not only athletic prowess but also perseverance and drive, of finding a way in when doors were closed. Competing at the highest level with a disability, these athletes often jump one more hurdle.  Similarly, it’s not just about the medals they bring home. It’s also about what’s possible, and in particular what’s possible when all people have the opportunity to develop their gifts and talents on the field of play.

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A Collaborative Learning Community to Benefit Youth and Young People with Disabilities

Photograph of Jessica Queener  By Guest Blogger Jessica Queener, Communications and Outreach Manager, Youth Transitions Collaborative and the National Youth Transitions Center

The Youth Transitions Collaborative (YTC) is a community of organizations that share the goal of empowering youth and young people with disabilities to create a self-directed path to adulthood and employment, and to participate in and contribute to society. The National Youth Transitions Center (NYTC) provides a single location in the nation’s capital for modeling cross-systems collaboration and improving the transition services available to youth and young people, their families and communities. As an innovative “collaborative community,” the NYTC provides opportunities for nonprofits serving youth and young people to build capacity, create new partnerships and benefit from its national agenda. This national agenda is comprised of policy and advocacy efforts, innovative research and cross-sector collaborations that stimulate new thinking and learning across the country.

The NYTC is the focal point of the Collaborative’s community. This by-invitation-only membership group, facilitated by The HSC Foundation, is comprised of over 50 regional and national organizations with a commitment to serving youth and young people with disabilities. These organizations are united by shared values and a desire to be stronger together, providing direct services, expertise and guidance for the Center. The Collaborative also serves as the basis for The HSC Foundation’s efforts to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations serving the disability and youth communities, and to create a cohesive community among these organizations. They also participate in a variety of programming initiatives that provide further opportunities to partner on topics including advocacy, career preparation and employment.

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Small Steps Essential in Returning to Work

Paula Reuben Vieillet, President and Founder, Employment Options Inc.

By Guest Blogger Paula Reuben Vieillet, President and Founder, Employment Options Inc.

One of the major hurdles of returning to work after a disability related absence is the mindset of “It will take too long to get from here to there,” or just simply not knowing where to start.

Small steps can help bring simplicity to the process of returning to work and not make it seem so daunting!

The first step is to become aware of the desire to work and why. Sure, there is always the need for money and paying bills, but desire is motivational. How can going back to work also help you as a person? What can working add to your life?

Those who have returned to work will tell you it was great to get out of the house and be around people again. Work at home employees will express gratitude for something to do in the house and have productivity and focus in their day. Most everyone who returns to work really likes meeting new people, whether working face to face or virtually. Working can be so much more to someone than just a paycheck!

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