Helping Young Adults Make Decisions about Life and Death

Alli Shoemaker Research Updates

From using a child’s own cells to fight cancer to creating next generation leukemia therapies, you’re helping turn researcher’s ideas into lifesaving realities.

Here’s one of the projects supporters like you helped fund in 2016:

Twenty-five percent of adolescents and young adults (AYA) who need bone marrow transplants (BMT) will not survive. And less than a quarter of these patients’ families have a plan called advance directives in place for quality-of-life decisions. Currently, advance directives are only legally binding — and thus only offered — for patients over the age of 18.

But AYA patients with long histories of illness have preferences and wishes about their medical care if they are dying. Angela Smith, MD, MS, and Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH, are exploring interventions that will help AYA patients have a voice in their end-of-life decisions should they become unable to communicate them to a doctor or family member.

How your donations will help:

Researchers plan to test and evaluate a program called FAmily-CEntered (FACE) Advance Care Planning intervention to explore the unique needs, perspectives and decision-making processes of AYA BMT patients.