YEDaily: Yael Cohen

Twenty-four-year-old Yael Cohen started Fuck Cancer after her mom’s diagnosis. In just two years, Fuck Cancer has become a movement that engages Gen-Yers and seeks to educated, inform, and create a forum for open dialogue. Find out more about this amazing young professional in today’s YEDaily.

Elevator Pitch: Describe your foundation in a nutshell.
Fuck Cancer’s goal is to activate Gen-Y to engage their parents to learn about early detection for cancer. Our goal is to put an end to late-stage cancer diagnoses. Ninety per cent of cancers are curable if caught in Stage 1. We want people to look for cancer instead of find it.

Why did you start Fuck Cancer, what was the inspiration?
My mom got cancer, plain and simple. I made her a shirt that said “Fuck Cancer” and then it all started.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is helping (hopefully). Our organization aims to educate and also create a forum for raw and authentic dialogue about cancer. I wish I had found a place like this for my mom when she was diagnosed. The most challenging part is choosing to live in the cancer realm; surrounding yourself with people’s worst days of their lives.

How do you make it through?
You have to stay positive, hope you’re helping, and remember you’ll get through and grieve and experience it. And chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate.

fuck cancer

Where do you see your organization going in 5 years?
Hopefully we’ll have grown, and continue to grow and become a resource a for patients and family and friends of patients. We want to be a place were people talk about cancer before they have to.

What does success look like to you?
Success for us would be having no cancer being diagnosed after Stage 1.

What is the most memorable milestone since startingin your career?
I’ve been really really lucky. I’ve gotten to talk at the UN and was invited to speak at the White House about Fuck Cancer. We’ve had some really exciting milestones that have really helped to catalyse the movement.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Don’t take yourself too seriously. When you’ve lost your sense of humour, you’ve really lost it all. As young professionals, you can have a hard time getting people to getting to take you seriously, so act accordingly. Of course this ties into the cancer side: don’t drink excessively and don’t smoke and all those good things.

What is Notable to you?
Authenticity and honesty; being able to be honest about what and who you are. Knowing when you’re right, but most importantly knowing when you’re wrong.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Both. My Blackberry is never more than a foot away, and I use an iPhone, but mainly in the States.