Benefitting Young Adult Cancer Canada
Chances are, most of the other people at the cancer clinic don’t know what it’s like to deal with chronic fatigue and “chemo brain” while kickstarting your career, trying to finish postsecondary program, or raising a young family. They don’t know what it’s like to navigate the healthcare system before you have health insurance, to become infertile from treatment before thinking about family planning, or to face the end of your life when you’re just getting started. YACC does, and Stephen benefitted from that support in the last months of his life.
Stephen made a huge impact on our community in the short time we had with him, and his legacy will live on through the Stephen Michell Fund created by his family. They have commenced a series of fundraising activities to honour his request that they help more young adults just like him, including Cloves for a Cause, a recurring funding opportunity in partnership with Ballantrae Garlic Farm.
Cloves for a Cause will provide annual revenue to ensure Stephen’s legacy will continue to change the lives of other young adults dealing with cancer in Canada through funding YACC’s face-to-face and web-based programs.
- Geoff Eaton, Executive Director & Founder -
Young Adult Cancer Canada
When you purchase the package of five gourmet bulbs of garlic from Stephen’s Garden, 50 % of the proceeds will be donated to YACC and the remaining 50% will be reinvested back into Stephen’s Garden. This includes the replanting of five garlic cloves.
In Stephen’s memory, please help support other young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer. For a young adult, being able to connect with others who have cancer and understand your situation, is what was important to Stephen. Even though he no longer walks among us, he still puts others in front of himself.
Young Adult Cancer Canada’s (YACC) mission is to support young adults as they move through and beyond cancer. To be the connection to peers, bridge out of isolation, and source of inspiration. Any cancer, any stage, YACC’s got their back.
Stephen Michell was dealing with brain cancer at 25 when he came into the YACC family during Survivor Conference 2014. Before he passed away in December of that year, Stephen felt what all YACCers feel: “Finally I’m not alone.”
A legacy is what you leave behind in the world after you have taken your last breath.
It is a part of you that lives on for generations. A young man has always put the
well-being of others in front of himself. He has participated and run numerous
fundraising campaigns. The legacy wish of this young man is to ensure
others similar to him have the opportunity to connect with other young adults
who are battling cancer. This young man is Stephen Michell.
Stephen faced health challenges as a child. He endured
and pushed forward with a smile on his face and a positive
attitude. In university Stephen flourished. Life was fantastic;
school was great and his health was excellent. Then he
graduated and was ready for the beginning of an amazing
career and future. But instead, he was also given his
life sentence; brain cancer.
Stephen fought with grace and dignity for 26 months. He endured five brain surgeries and two rounds of chemo. The first treatment was to be 70 weekly treatments. After 32 treatments Stephen was forced to stop as his tumour was not shrinking and the side effects were beyond what one should ensure. With his business hat on, Stephen negotiated with his Neuro-oncologist; monthly MRI’s and a treatment plan should anything change. A few months later there was change, and Stephen commenced a second treatment of chemo. However, after one round of treatment, Stephen’s tumour grew again. He made the difficult decision to stop the treatments and live out the remainder of his time, on his own terms. Six weeks later, Stephen passed away with dignity, strength and selflessness.
Stephen was always a strong, caring, and giving individual. He was very specific as to what his legacy would be and what he wanted his family to do on his behalf. After attending a conference in the spring of 2014, Stephen became very involved with Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC). During a time of feeling quite alone and isolated, this organization made Stephen feel welcome and not alone in his cancer diagnosis and journey. Stephen’s legacy wish is to continue raising funds so that other young adults with cancer can attend an event and connect with others, like he did.
The Michell family has partnered with Cloves for a Cause, with Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) being the beneficiary of funds raised. The funds raised will go towards the Stephen Michell Fund with YACC, which sponsors conferences and retreats hosted by YACC. When the Michell family first met with Sarah and learned about Cloves for A Cause, a strong connection was made. The heartbeat of their mission, the healing properties of garlic, perpetual giving, and the fact that Stephen loved garlic just fit.