The Israel Cancer Association (ICA) initiated and established the "Young Adults - Embarking on Life" project to assist young single cancer survivors in their 20s and 30s and offer them a supportive community that provides age-specific care.
This is a professionally guided program that offers a warm environment and "home away from home" in which young cancer survivors get to know each other in a caring atmosphere that meets their unique needs.
ICA psycho-oncology social workers guide the group members during weekly group and individual meetings, while at the same time, the members of the group enjoy joint activities such as: trips and jeep tours, social events, workshops, performances, parties and more. ICA volunteers accompany the broad-based and significant "Young Adults - Embarking on Life" activity that is initiated by the ICA all year round, and funded by earmarked donations.
In this framework, at the end of June, the young adults embarked on the fourth trip this year, as far north as possible, the Golan Heights. By the afternoon, they arrived at the Hermon and experienced for the first time the experience of travelling, climbing, hiking and staying over in the Hermon, not in the winter season. The sight of the Hermon with its rocks and plant life, during the ride on the cable car, the proximity to the Syrian border, the view of the entire region and hearing the bombings in Syria itself, made an impact on them.
One of the participants said: "Now I feel that this trip really symbolizes my embarking on new beginnings in my life, or coming back to life...It symbolizes freedom and regaining control over our lives.....I wonder how my friends felt....."
The young adults spent the evening and night in a Moshav in the Golan which allowed them to wind down and connect with themselves as individuals and as a group. As customary, they all organized the traditional dinner and sat as a group to eat and laugh around the campfire which enabled them to talk, laugh, and confide in one another. One could get a close look at how these young adults embarked on a journey of self-discovery, and checked their ego at the door for the benefit of their counterparts.
Ana said: "Everything has a beginning and an end....I believe that none of us can say that this trip changed our lives, but there is no doubt that this experience has penetrated the hearts of each and every one of us...We have found new friends, discovered beautiful places, learned something new about ourselves, and about those around us...."
On Friday morning they went on the water hike. Despite the physical difficulty that some of the members of the group encountered, everyone reported that they thoroughly enjoyed the physical challenge of hiking, as well as the company and the water hike itself. After they completed the hike, they sat and summed up the trip and expectation emerged for the next trip.
30 year-old Nilli wrote: "I just wanted to say thank you for the amazing trip. This was a bonding, and different experience. I say thank you because we can see that you paid attention to all the feedback that was provided regarding the previous trip and the conclusions and lessons were indeed implemented. I would also like to add that anyone who didn't join the trip truly missed out".
For more information on the "Embarking on Life" project, kindly contact Mrs. Orit Spira, Director of ICA's Rehabilitation and Welfare Department:
By phone: +972-3-572.16.78
By E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org