Young Adults and Adolescents Ages 15-39

At City of Hope, we know that adolescents and young adults (AYAs) ages 15 to 39 have unique needs.

That's why we offer medical care, psychosocial support and resources designed to help AYAs flourish from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.
Interventions for younger children and older adults are not always appropriate for adolescents and young adults. We offer AYA-specific medical care that is designed to treat cancer aggressively while minimizing the long-term effects. At City of Hope, you will have access to:
  • The most current cancer therapies and treatments
  • An AYA inpatient lounge, where young adults can relax, play video games, or watch movies while they’re in the hospital
  • Outpatient treatments to minimize hospital stays
  • Clinical trials
  • Referrals for fertility preservation
As an AYA, you’re probably concerned about how your cancer diagnosis and treatment will impact your body and other aspects of your life, such as relationships, finances, and school or a career. We want to help by providing resources including:
  • The Young Adult Toolkit, a handbook of information and resources for young adult patients. (See below for a link to download it electronically! Printed copies may also be picked up in the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center on the Duarte campus.)
  • A six-week educational group that runs two to three times each year
  • AYA-specific social events or on-campus conferences
With a patient population that spans all ages, City of Hope is uniquely positioned to treat AYAs from diagnosis through adulthood, enabling you to stay with a team and at a hospital you know and trust.

Contact Information


AYA team

  • Jeanelle Folbrecht, Ph. D. -Psychologist
  • Elaine Wheat Dawson, Psy.D. - AYA Coordinator
  • Lauren Creel, MSW, MPH-Program Administrator
  • Tasha Haley, BSN, RN, PHN, Assistant Clinical Nurse Manager
  • Sherry Hite, MOT, OTR/L – Manager, Occupational Therapy
  • Toni Carreras-Irwin, RC, RTC-Pediatric and AYA Activities Specialist
  • Natalie Kelly, Ph.D., ABPP-CN- Neuropsychologist
  • Marisol Trujillo, MS, CCLS-Child Life Specialist
  • Karen Wohlgezogen, BSN, RN, CPHON- Assistant Clinical Nurse Manager
  • Brett Evans, IT Specialist, Operations Manager for SupportScreen


City of Hope Resources

The AYA Toolkit

A guide to answer questions and provide resources to Young Adults and Older Adolescents diagnosed with cancer.

City of Hope AYA Facebook Page

“Like” our Facebook to get updates about on-campus programs and social events, community announcements, or interesting articles.

ConnectU at City of Hope

Enrollment for ConnectU, the peer support program takes place a few times during the year. Once you’re enrolled, you’ll be paired with another patient, and you can talk to this same-age peer about life during or after-treatment. Email for more information or to start the enrollment process.

“Empowering Young Adults” Psychoeducational Group at City of Hope

This 6-week class is run 2-3 times each year by the Psychology department. Visit the AYA Facebook Page for more details, as the group is usually advertised there when it’s approaching. You can also visit the AYA section in the Sheri and Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center (see below) to see if a flier is available for the next round of group.

The AYA section of the Biller Resource Center

There is a section of the Biller Resource Center that is dedicated to AYA information and resources, including upcoming events and groups at City of Hope. Check it out for upcoming opportunities for peer interaction!

School Program Coordinator

City of Hope has a School Program Coordinator who provides educational advocacy for patients during and after cancer treatment, including the pre-treatment phase. This can include obtaining modifications in school, assisting with withdrawal or deferment of college courses, facilitating home teaching or independent study, and counseling related to educational options, school re-entry, and psychosocial adjustment in the school, college, or university setting.

Fertility Risks Related to Cancer Treatment

Talking to your health care team about what matters most to you. It is important to talk openly and honestly with your doctor about your wishes and plans for your life after treatment and even before treatment. When it comes to fertility, it is especially important to start taking steps early to know and understand important factors that will need to be considered to decide what is best for you and your care.
Download the "Fertility Risks Related to Cancer Treatment: What Are My Options and How Can I Plan for the Future?" below:

Community Resources

Stupid Cancer

Stupid Cancer is a nonprofit organization that empowers young adults affected by cancer through innovative and award-winning programs and services. It is a go-to hub for resources, support, education, peer-to-peer connection and advocacy.

HRC Fertility

(866) 472-4483
One of the largest providers of advanced fertility treatments in the United States. They offer fertility testing and a wide range of reproductive treatments. Offices in Encino, Fullerton, Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, Oceanside, Pasadena, Westlake Village, and West Los Angeles.

Cancer and Careers

A resource on cancer in the workplace, including tips for interviewing, what your employer can and can’t do, fashion and beauty tips, and career coaches to help you through work-related transitions.

First Descents

(970) 926-2444
First Descents offers young adults free outdoor adventure experiences designed to empower them to climb, paddle and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy their cancer, reclaim their lives and connect with others along the way.

GRYT Health

(844) 487-4798
GRYT Health is an award-winning, mobile app-based social community founded by cancer survivors and caregivers who wanted to create a more human approach to helping people live on their own terms.

Imerman Angels

(877) 274-5529
Imerman Angels matches cancer patients with survivors of their same age, gender and cancer type.

Lacuna Loft

Lacuna Loft is a nonprofit organization providing online support programs to young adult cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.

Mission Control

An excellent database where you can search for resources near your location, including groups, transportation, professional services, and more.

National Cancer Institute: Self-Image and Sexuality

At this link, the NCI examines sexuality and reproductive issues as affected by cancer.

LiveStrong Fertility
The organization offers resources and information on cancer and fertility, provides financial assistance, and drives research on the impact of cancer treatment on fertility. Parenting While Living with Cancer

A quick article containing tips about how to cope with cancer while taking care of yourself and your family.