Support group offers guidance to people under age 27 dealing with cancer

Updated: 09/02/2014 7:16 PM | Created: 09/02/2014 7:11 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An Albuquerque woman who had cancer and wanted support, but couldn't find it, has formed a new support group, "U-27", for people younger than 27 who are battling cancer.

Kimberely Craft was enjoying her senior year of high school, but in the middle of it all, she received the worst news possible. At 18 years old, she was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma.

"I thought 'Really? Right before prom and graduation?' and it just terrified me," Craft said.

Her life was suddenly filled with doctor's appointments and chemotherapy, which she said was all a blur.

"It was hard at that time," Craft said.

The difficulty was only extrapolated because she said she felt she really didn't have anyone to talk to. There were friends and family, but none of them had cancer.

"It was hard because I think a lot of people didn't really know what to say," Craft said. "You would try to talk about what you're going through, and they wouldn't really get it."

There were no support groups for kids or young adults with cancer, so Craft teamed up with people living through the disease, forming a local non-profit.

It's called "U-27", a cancer support group for people under age 27.

"We're all part of the club we didn't want to be a part of," Craft said. She said the group offers advice and support for people dealing with particular issues of cancer treatment.

"It's like 'hey, this is kind of how you're going to feel' or 'be careful if you're exercising because your white blood cell count may be low.'"

It's a place for people to share what's going on with people who understand exactly what they're going through.

"I still feel that unspoken connection and bond runs between us all," Craft said.

To find more support groups with people living through cancer, click on the '4 links' tab at the top of the page.

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