The health needs of young adults are often overlooked by the health community. Although many young adults connect at local or national conferences, they return to their everyday lives and become disconnected from their peers. This is an opportunity to provide them the ability to remain connected and continue the conversations of relevant topics including the unmet needs among young adults.
The challenges facing young adults differ from those affecting older adults and are not always being heard or addressed. The burdens that young adults carry include coping with their disease, talking with family, friends, and romantic partners about their health condition, planning their future (family and career), and finding beneficial and responsible peer-support. The transition from childhood or adolescence to adulthood is often a time of uncertainty and the onset of complex emotions.
In this situation, the target age group would be those between the ages of 18 to 35. While some disease specific patient advocacy organizations have begun to acknowledge the needs of this demographic, currently there does not exist an organization dedicated to providing year-round services for these individuals. We believe this will be an opportunity for young adults to share their journey with their peers and help improve their quality of life.
Social and emotional support will be provided through in-person and online meet-ups around a variety of topics that young adults find important. Local grassroots efforts will be fostered to build communities of affected young adults facing similar challenges. The end goal of Our Odyssey is to empower young adults to build their own local communities and enrich their lives.