What is your passion or hobby?

What is your passion or hobby?

The first week in April is Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week.  We asked several young adults who are living with cancer what they love to do, and below are their responses.  A big thank you to Tananya, Drew, Ashli, Amber and Tanya for sharing their passions/hobbies with us. 


Tananya, age 20, diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 15

My name is Ms. Tananya Barr; I was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, Brain Tumor at the age of 15 years old. I underwent Chemo and radiation, along with surgery. It wasn’t the greatest time for me at all with other health aliments that I live with every day.

However, with the help of My mother and my self-determination to finish school, high school played a very important role in my life. I’m very passionate about my education and love to learn so that’s one of the reasons I changed my life on the way I see food and animals.

One, I became a vegan due to the cruelty of the way I see how people treat animals and my passion also stems from this, developing the interest in becoming a Vet assistant. I love to read and exercise, which is very important to include in my life.  I also love to paint, and I love learning about History; the world we live in is so fascinating!

Even though we are hit with such challenges with our health we continue to pursue to live no matter what. I will not allow what happened to me to dictate how I live; that’s why I’m so grateful to have Ms. Lorraine and Sy’s Fund to help me and mom by providing massage therapy for me

Thank you so much this makes a huge difference in my life. I’m passionate about taking care of myself the best the way I can. Really and it takes a good support system to do so. Thank you SY’s  Fund !!!!


Drew, Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, age 28

I recently graduated from chiropractic school, and absolutely love what I get to do; to see patients get healthier and improve their overall life through their health.  It also keeps me active physically, and I have always enjoyed a high-intensity workout at the gym.  But, after the recent diagnosis, I have learned more than ever that I need to slow down to enjoy things too.  So, I have upped my reading, yoga, and meditation.  But, specifically with reading, it has always been a joy for me, and now I make it a point to read more frequently.  Growing up, I always wanted to read about sports, my favorite players, teams, etc.  Now, I read about health and self-improvement.  My two favorite authors currently are Ryan Holliday and Brene Brown, but I enjoy so many other books in this ‘healthy lifestyle and self-improvement’ genre.  I enjoy the energy and inspiration that reading in the morning gives me, and the grounding presence and peace it provides in the evening; helping me feel ready for the day or ready for bed all within the same book.


Ashli, diagnosed with thyroid cancer during college; diagnosed with breast cancer at 36

As an English major and a former English educator, words are my life. The ability to read a poem or short story and have an immediate connection is more than a hobby- it’s a love.

Sy’s Fund has given me a way to put my passion for storytelling into action, with a brand new laptop. I’ve completed quite a few chapters and the feedback has been amazing.  I’m truly appreciative of the support and encouragement from your foundation.


Amber, age 32, was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30.
Whenever I have a spare moment you will find me knitting or gardening. I started knitting in 2010 to gift my bridesmaids something handmade, something that would let them know how grateful I was to have them in my life. Since then, knitting has become a creative outlet and source of peace. Gardening is something I have been drawn to since making mudpies in frisbees in my grandparents’ backyard. There is just something about playing in the dirt that I expect I will never outgrow.

Tanya, age 39, diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35

My hobby is volunteerism. I have been a member of a volunteer group for almost 18 years and I love it. During Triple Negative cancer battle in 2018 and in 2019 (in 2020 I found out cancer is metastatic and spread to other areas, I am currently still in fight for my life and will never give up!) I was President of Hunt Volunteers.

The biggest joy I receive is giving and helping others. My motto is, see a need; fill a need. The volunteer organization serves downtown Dallas and surrounding areas.

We have several projects that I help chair which are so special to me. One of them being the annual back to school project which I started is the school uniform drive called Student Angels.

We are able to work together with our coworkers’ donations and able to provide hundreds of complete uniforms. The elementary school we partner with primarily has students that come from homeless shelters and do not have the means to purchase school clothes and supplies. This project is very special to me and means so much that we get to impart some joy into these students’ lives and help make a difference. I have been blessed to either co-chair or chair this project for about 14 years now and it is remarkable to watch it grow and improve each year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *