Friday, November 14, 2008

Don't Mess with Texas

At the moment, I am sitting in the Austin airport crossing my fingers that I make the connection through Nashville- football playoffs are tomorrow and I can't miss them!

Wow- what an interesting & enlightening few days here in Austin. The YAA conference was my first foray into the "business" side of non-profits (as opposed to the survivorship side). Not too much difference than the for-profit world, other that the people joined here are waaaaaay more passionate about their jobs!

On the one hand, it's amazing to see all of the creative resources directed at the young adult cancer population. On the other, there is still a long way to go to making sure that this population gets the full services it needs. Being caught between children & adults in the cancer world is an interesting place to be, and there are some huge gaps that need to be addressed. It's very motivating to be a part of the team, though I am still trying to figure out all of the acronyms, federal agencies, etc!!! There is a lot to learn, and I need to figure out what I'd be most interested in doing. One thing is for sure... there needs to be some attention focused at the partners and families of young adults, because it can be a pretty lonely place. And there are plenty of opportunities for us to expand NCCF, while working with the other organizations.

The best part was getting to network with all of the great, talented & inspiring people from LAF and the other organizations. I saw some folks that we had met in Columbus at the Livestrong Summit and met others who knew Dan and were big supporters. While I felt a little on the outside in terms of my technical knowledge, I did feel like a part of the community and it was nice to share experiences with people.

I know some people might be wary of going to a cancer conference, but these are some of the most genuine and fun people I've met in a long while. I mean, anytime I find myself karoke-ing next to an oncologist while riding on a river boat in downtown Austin is sure to be a good time (song of choice: Friends in Low Places- always good for crowd participation).

But it didn't feel quite right without my partner in crime, and I can't wait to get home to him.

PS- In case you didn't see it, Dan's picture was featured as part of the Faces of Lung Cancer on a piece on the Today show. Cut and place the link below- Dan's picture is right next to Matt Lauer's head.


Anonymous said...

Meg - Glad your trip went well and that you feel you are a part of the community - you are already an incredible cancer advocate. The scientific knowledge will come - one can't learn the passion you bring - you already have the most important piece!

Enjoy football!

Hi Dan!

Linda H

Obsessedwithlife said...

Very cool. I've always met nice people at all the conferences I've been to also :). Good times!

Anonymous said...

Hi Meg and Dan, I just caught up with the blog--I hadn't read it since before the golf tournament. I was in NY that weekend but was thinking about you guys and wondering how it went. I'm glad to hear it was such a success and that Dan was able to enjoy it! I'm so not surprised Dan was able to pull through with the speech--awesome job. I hope to see you two soon! You're both always in my thoughts and I'm sending a positive attitude your way :-)
Talk to you soon,

Anonymous said...

Hey, Dan,

Great photo--positioned right next to Matt Lauer!!! You're one handsome guy! Thanks for the link.