Inside Story on the Genesis of Teen Cancer America

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THANK YOU for publishing the excellent article “We Need to Fill the Gap Between Pediatric and Adult Oncology Care” by Sarah Stream (as told to Jo Cavallo) in the March 25, 2018, issue of The ASCO Post. Sarah’s story and her connection to Teen Cancer America actually go much deeper than she reported in the Patient’s Corner column, and it is typical of Sarah’s humility that she didn’t share the information with Jo. 

Roger Daltrey, the lead singer of the legendary British rock band The Who, is the cofounder of Teen Cancer America. His connection to adolescent and young adult cancer stems from his long-term support and patronage of the Teenage Cancer Trust, a pioneering charity that, since 1990, forged the adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer initiative now recognized globally. 

When Sarah was going through treatment for brain cancer, her father made contact with Roger to share her story. Roger subsequently made contact with Sarah and maintained regular communication with her throughout her treatment, making regular calls to give her support and encouragement. During their conversations, Sarah spoke about the need for similar programs developed by the Teenage Cancer Trust in the United States. Their conversations became the genesis of Roger’s drive to set up Teen Cancer America. When Teen Cancer America was launched at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, in 2012, Roger had Sarah alongside him to speak on behalf of young people with cancer in America. 

I think it is fair to say there may never have been a Teen Cancer America, and all that we have achieved since then, without Sarah’s influential discussions with Roger during her treatment. ■

—Simon Davies, Executive Director, Teen Cancer America, Los Angeles, California 

DISCLOSURE: Mr. Davies reported no conflicts of interest. 

DISCLAIMER: Letters to the Editor represent the views of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of ASCO or The ASCO Post. 

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