November 26, 2018

Caregiving for the Caregiver AppChat

Join us on December 12th at 9pm ET/ 8pm CT / 6pm PT for a LIVE conversation on Caring for the Caregiver.

Chat with Chasing Rainbows Young Adult Cancer Advocacy’s Pat Taylor and Lacuna Loft’s Mallory Casperson. Read below about our moderators, Pat and Mallory, two caregivers who will be guiding our discussion on self-care. You can be part of the dialogue in the Caregiver Chat room, located on the Stupid Cancer App which is free to download for both Apple and Android.

What we’ll be chatting about:

  • Types of Caregivers
  • Recognizing why self care is important
  • How to self care for the caregiver
  • What works and what doesn’t
  • Building a stable community of support
  • Resources available when no one else is

Pat Taylor became an AYA cancer advocate when her daughter, Sara, age 23, was diagnosed with cancer back in 1997. Addressing the lack of support resources for her peers and caregivers, Sara and Pat produced and distributed two films, Sara’s Story and Chasing Rainbows Young Adults Living With Cancer, and Chasing Rainbows Young Adult Cancer Advocacy was born.

Since then, along with other advocates and their support resources, Pat has watched the AYA Cancer Voice grow from a tiny whisper to empowered roar! Caregivers helped make this happen.

As a Parent and Advocate, Pat joins this Gryt Health Caregiver Chat, to share and explore with other Caregivers the immediate needs and on going challenges we face while navigating the unpredictable cancer storyline with our loved ones. Self Care is the key to being the kind of Caregiver we strive to be. How do we make it so? Join Pat to learn more.

Mallory Casperson was forced into the world of young adult cancer caregiving in graduate school when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. She was fortunate enough to serve as one of her mother’s primary caregivers during the last months of her life.

Two month’s after her mother passed, Mallory was diagnosed with cancer herself. Several years into her survivorship, Lacuna Loft, a nonprofit organization offering online support programs to young adult cancer survivors and caregivers, was created to connect young adults facing cancer together.

Understanding young adult cancer from both the caregiving and the survivor experience has allowed Mallory to become a strong advocate in the young adult cancer community. Self care is key to any caregiving experience and Mallory is excited to talk caregiving with Gryt Health!

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September 16, 2018

Karen’s Story of GRYT

Seventeen years ago I was living a normal life. Normal being I was a wife, mom and working full time. Taking a yearly family vacation up in northern Michigan was also part of our normal life. It was there that my oldest daughter Jessica, who was 16 at the time, started exhibiting symptoms that I suspected were related to mono.

A week after returning home, however, she was not diagnosed with mono but a far more sinister condition. Cancer had joined our family in the form of leukemia. ALL is the most common form of childhood cancer. Indeed we were told that was the “good” leukemia. We were thrown into a world we had no desire to be in.

I became the primary caregiver of my daughter while still trying to maintain a household, attend sporting events of my other daughter who was just 15, and working at a job I needed to keep. Throughout the 2 1/2 yrs of standard treatment I discovered my voice; after all who was going to speak for my daughter when she was focused on just getting through the day. I also found my love of being involved in some local cancer organizations.

I’ve been vocal about our cancer journey, but try to make sure caregivers know that they are an important piece of a cancer patients recovery.

Caregivers are mostly forgotten about. Seventeen years ago I had no resources or emotional support. Each September during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month I revisit my story in hopes that anyone who needs an ear or shoulder reaches out so they don’t feel alone. Cancer will always be a threat but I no longer think of it every day.

GRYT is being the proud mom of a now 17 yr leukemia survivor who is now an oncology social worker.

GRYT is not being afraid to talk to someone about their cancer or being afraid to visit the hospital.

GRYT is being an integral part of an important fundraiser for a local free cancer support community.

GRYT is taking immense joy in my two grandsons who’s mama is a SURVIVOR.

GRYT is offering up myself to someone who needs love and reassurance that they aren’t alone as they take care of a loved one fighting the battle.

GRYT is recognizing that caregivers are survivors too!!

Instagram: K C 
Facebook: Karen Ivanac Evanatz Carty

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August 31, 2018

Nadine’s Story of GRYT

…And then cancer entered my life again. This time in my body. I thought having lost my mom as a teenager to colon cancer was going to prevent me from having to go through this because I would be more ‘on top of it’. At age 35 I had somehow fallen through the cracks. I was diagnosed stage four MBC in January of this year. I am ER / PR+ and HER2-. It’s amazing what being told you have stage four breast cancer can do to your mind…even more than your body. The emotions that come with feeling like there is a more imminent expiration date felt all too real those first few months. I knew I had to change my mindset immediately and I have never looked back! I decided that even though the cancer destroyed many vertebrae and put multiple fractures through my pelvis & sacrum that I was going to walk again. And I AM! I decided that I would not let this unwelcome visitor destroy my spirit or my health. I made changes to absolutely everything in my life. I know this process is still very new as I am only seven months in to my diagnosis. BUT, I have already defied the odds in many ways. My diet it clean, my spirituality is confirmed & my support system is top notch. I am even full of gratitude for my new perspective on life and the world as a whole. I have more empathy now and more love to give than I did before. I know I will live to a beautiful older lady who will share the good and the bad and with some damn awesome stories along the way.

GRYT is waking up every day and putting 100% effort in to staying healthy and strong.
GRYT is telling cancer that I am pushing it out bit by bit every damn day.
GRYT is crying when crying feels like the only way my body can communicate with my mind.
GRYT is thanking my body every day for healing and working so hard.

GRYT is accepting this life and embracing the journey, regardless of the situation.

Nadine Parsons Agency



Instagram: @NadineParsonsAgency

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April 10, 2018

GRYT Profile: Bryce

In the fall of 1998, I was twelve. My father, Joel, brought the family together to tell us that he was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma Stage 2B. You might be thinking that my story is one of a caregiver, but a mere 15 years later in 2013 I myself was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma Stage 2B.

My father and I were diagnosed with a cancer that is not genetic or transferred by from parents to children.

My story is unique in the fact that not only did I have the same cancer as my father, but I also had a personal guide on my own journey to remission. Both my father and I are now happily in remission but now we are on mission to help others that suffer from similar diagnosis.

We are active with our local Leukemia and Lymphoma Society chapter. We ran the 2015 Disney World Half Marathon raising $43,000 for blood cancer research.

Through our work in government relations we have been able to advocate for blood cancer patients and research at the state level in Mississippi and national level. I was also worked as an employee with LLS to plan the 2016 Light the Night Jackson Walk.

We are always looking for ways to help those that do not have the support system that we had during treatment.

I look forward to that day when cancer is no more, but until then let’s fight together!

March 30, 2018

GRYT Profile: Sharla

GRYT is having your husband get diagnosed with cancer at 29 years old, when he was graduating from law school and we were pregnant with our first child.

GRYT is losing him 10 years later, and having to tell the boys their dad wasn’t coming home from the hospital.

GRYT is continuing to function after becoming a widow and single mom to two boys, all at the age of 39. Every day since then, it’s about being their parent and trying to make their life as normal as possible.

GRYT is raising them by myself — not by choice, but because of cancer.

GRYT is about being there for other caregivers like me — who support each other at all the different stages of cancer.

March 30, 2018

GRYT Profile: Pat

Gryt is living off the grid in the Canadian wilderness, where grizzly bears wander through the front yard.

Gryt is holding it together for your 23-year-old daughter when the doctor tells her, “it’s not good news. It’s cancer.”

Gryt is bathing your 26-year-old daughter’s body after her death, dressing her in her wedding dress and wheeling her out the door to the funeral home while playing the Star Wars soundtrack (per her instructions).

Gryt is figuring out how to find purpose in life again, after doing all that.

Gryt is becoming an AYA cancer awareness advocate dedicated to discovering and distributing multi-media support resources that embrace the complete AYA and caregiver cancer storyline: diagnosis, treatment, remission, recurrence, metastatic, chronic, death and bereavement.

Gryt is making what feels impossible, possible.

March 30, 2018

GRYT Profile: Mallory R

GRYT is becoming a caregiver for a parent with traumatic/chronic illness at a young age.

GRYT is discovering a community and instantly becoming an advocate.

GRYT is working to build and facilitate programs that support those affected by young adult cancer.

GRYT is becoming a part of a community that has fundamentally changed my perspective and constantly challenges me to be the best version of myself, pushes me to be a voice for change, and encourages me to get busy living and advocate for others to do the same.

March 30, 2018

GRYT Profile: Hailey

GRYT is your mom being diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphoma and taking over the responsibilities of the house while trying to manage your 10th grade honors classes.

GRYT is being diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphoma only six weeks after your mom and then going through treatment alongside each other.

GRYT is managing to graduate high school on time, being on track to graduate college early.

GRYT is adjusting to your post-cancer body and accepting your “new normal.”

GRYT is allowing yourself to have days that aren’t okay — to be upset and angry about what happened to you.

GRYT is knowing when and how to ask for help from your friends, loved ones, and community.

GRYT is persisting and trying to make life as fulfilling for yourself as possible — no matter what those fulfilling things are for you.

GRYT is unapologetically being your most authentic self in every aspect of your life.

March 29, 2018

GRYT Profile: Sara

GRYT is being 26 and seeing your identical twin sister diagnosed with a grade 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma.

GRYT is not wanting to sit by and watch Cancer take over anymore days, moods, or stories. Life changes after a cancer diagnosis for someone close to you, but it doesn’t have to be the whole story.

GRYT is attending CancerCon on a whim, and joining the Steering Committee the very next year to make a difference for those most effected. Cancer sucks.

GRYT is NOT letting it define you or those you love.

March 29, 2018

GRYT Profile: Kenny

GRYT is:

being your dad’s primary caregiver through cancer in your teens and almost not graduating high school.

rebuilding your identity as:

Son, Husband, Advocate,

Contributor to Forbes, Technology Expert, Long Islander living in TX

GRYT Co-Founder