Yael Cohen thinks we should fuck cancer. The foul-mouthed activist lent a face to a new generation who refused to whisper the “c-word.” In 2009, after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided to start a group to promote cancer education, focusing on Generation Y, and stressing the power of early detection in avoiding preventable tragedy. Cohen, feeling that much of the existing outreach efforts were sterile or impersonal, wanted a real, visceral conversation that didn’t shy away from the uncomfortable details, and thus Fuck Cancer was born.
90 percent of cancer is curable in stage one. Cohen and Fuck Cancer are mobilizing the information generation to spread this message the only way we know how — on the internet. The organization’s campaigns act as tools to help send this message far and wide, focusing on bringing often-taboo topics into public discussion.
One of these campaigns is Fucktember. Yup, you guessed it — the month of September has been overhauled in an effort to get people talking about the warning signs of cancer. Last September, more than 10,000 people were reached by the campaign, and the organization believes this number will grow exponentially in 2013.
“This September, we want people living in Timbuktu to know that their penis may be trying to tell them something,” the campaigns page quips.
Cohen’s biggest project for us this year is creating a better place for the Fuck Cancer community to learn, understand, connect with and help each other online. This will include recreating and rebranding the support group and bringing it into the digital age as “Support 2.0,” Cohen says.
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