For over 20 years, the Young Survival Coalition has served as a beacon of hope for many. Saturday, breast cancer survivors and many more gathered at Lansing Brewing Company as part of the organization's 20 year anniversary.
"We're just looking to build community, to give people a chance to build relationships help understand what they're going through," said Stacy Gagas, YSC's Regional Outreach Manager.
Gagas has been working with Young Survival Coalition since they helped her through her journey towards surviving breast cancer.
"I was diagnosed nine years ago, and I didn't know anyone young who had been diagnosed with cancer at all. Then I found YSC, and I met so many friends who I could talk to right off the bat about all sorts of things that you couldn't really talk about with other friends," she said. "Some people don't understand what it's like to have breast cancer as a young woman."
Different branches of the YSC from around the country meet once a month. The organization gives those affected by breast cancer the tools they need to fight it.
"The women really benefit from our resources, and once they finish treatment, they can use our post-treatment navigator, because unfortunately cancer isn't always gone once you finish treatment," said Director of Commmunity Engagement Mary Ajango. "There are lifelong impacts and so we're here to support a woman all through her journey."
But the connections and relationships women develop through YSC prove to be more valuable than any other resource.
"It's one of the vital pieces that helps them get to that survivorship stage in their cancer diagnosis and treatment," said Ajango.
Those in attendance were able to share more than just a miracle of survival. A surviving mother brought her three-week-old child, a rarity for most women due to fertility issues after treatment.