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Action Day | What to Expect | Advocacy 101 | Hotel & Travel | Registration

June 21 is a special day for Critical Mass: The Young Adult Cancer Alliance. It marks the date when the very first young adult cancer bill was introduced by Congress: HR2976, the Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment Act. This June 21 let’s storm Washington for the first ever Young Adult Cancer Day.

This day will be much more than just knocking on doors — you’ll also receive training from legislation and policy experts so that you’ll be better informed on young adult issues, more confident in meeting with lawmakers, and more persuasive in making your case on Action Day (and in the future)!

All are welcome - patients, survivors, providers, researchers - anyone who wants to educate lawmakers about the unique needs faced by adolescents and young adults after a cancer diagnosis.

It’s time our lawmakers heard from us - the ones who were “too young” for cancer. It’s time they work with us to transform young adult cancer care in the United States.

What to Expect:

We will schedule all your congressional meetings and make sure you know exactly what to say. Your job: get to Washington and get ready for a non-stop day speaking up for young adults impacted by cancer.

Registration will be open until June 15, 2018. Your registration fee includes:

  • Training session with policy and advocacy experts;
  • Materials to leave with policymakers and take home so you can followup;
  • Digital organizer filled with maps, your meeting schedule, and talking points;
  • Kick-Off breakfast with special guests and Members of Congress;
  • Welcome reception and networking with AYA advocates from across the country; and
  • Action Day Happy Hour with national health care leaders.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018:

  • Plan to arrive in DC on June 20, 2018.
  • Delegation captains - the advocates who are going to lead you around the Capitol - will participate in a training in the afternoon.
  • Everyone will come together for a Welcome Reception in the evening.
  • Don’t party too hard. You have a lot of doors to knock on the next day!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

  • We will get started early on Action Day. Breakfast will be served between 7:30-8:00am.
  • The Action Day Kick-Off will include remarks from Members of Congress and other friends. You will learn more about the unique issues facing young adults after a cancer diagnosis and how Congress fits in to our mission.
  • After the caffeine kicks in, it is on to the Advocacy 101 Training Session. You will learn some best practices and be able to ask questions to ensure you have a great day on Capitol Hill.
  • Then you are off! The majority of your day will be spent meeting with lawmakers and their staff. Make sure to follow your Delegation Captain. You don’t want to get lost in the Capitol tunnels.
  • We will gather back together for an end-of-Action Day photo on the Capitol steps before we debrief (also known as happy hour!)

Friday, June 22, 2018

  • This is your day to explore the city or head back home. Trust us, your feet will thank you.

Advocacy 101:

If you have ever successfully negotiated a later curfew or managed to get out of a parking ticket, then you know how to advocate. You do it every day. Advocacy is simply speaking up in support of a cause or position.

It starts with your story.

  • A patient who has a personal experience navigating a cancer care system.
  • A clinician who sees the gaps in care between pediatric, young adult, and adult oncology.
  • A caregiver who can see that services do not meet their loved ones needs.

But like most things, there’s an effective and not-so effective way to advocate. Your story combined with knowledge of all the facts builds your credibility as an advocate. That’s where Critical Mass can help. We are here to build your credibility as an advocate and arm you with facts and best practices. For example:

Social Media Tips & Tricks

  • Keep posts short and sweet. Save room for a graphic or article.
  • It’s a conversation. If you want likes and retweets, like and retweet others who you support.
  • Think then share. You want to be a credible source. Make sure you always share content that is grounded in facts. This includes sharing or retweeting other posts.
  • When replying to a tweet, always make sure there is a period before the handle so it reaches all your followers.
  • #HashtagsRULE. Using a hashtag can get your message out to a wider audience that may not be following you right now.

You will learn more about the most effective ways to advocate during your training session on Action Day.

Hotel & Travel:

We are currently working on securing a room block for our attendees. Stay tuned!

Another great option for housing in DC is AirBnB. The city is home to people from all over the world (who probably travel more than they live at home!) There are always well priced rooms available that are significantly cheaper and trendier than a hotel. We can’t wait to here where you may end up!

Washington, DC is one of the most accessible cities in the world. The city can be reached by car, bus, train, and plane. (There may even be a ferry!). Here’s what you need to know about travel options:

Airports: There are 3 airports that service the DC metro area (or as we like to call it the DMV… only a bunch of DC people would think that was cool.)

  • Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) is located across the river in Arlington, VA. You can get from the airport to the city in about 5 minutes by car or Metro.
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) is about 31 miles northwest of the city. There are public transportation options but the fastest way to and from there is by car. Give yourself an extra hour if you are commuting during rush hour which is from 7am-10am and then again from 3pm-7pm.
  • Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) sits right in between Baltimore and Washington, DC. You can get to DC on the local commuter rail (MARC) which takes you right to Union Station and connects to the DC Metro system (WMATA).

Trains: We love our trains in Washington. We have light rail, commuter rail, metro rail, the list goes on and on!

  • The Metro runs until midnight every day and stops at all the must see locations in Washington, DC. You will want to purchase a SmarTrip card when you get to the city. You should be fine with $10. This is a reloadable plastic ticket that you swipe when you enter and exit the Metro. Fares are higher and trains run more often during rush hour.
  • For those staying in or near Maryland, the MARC train is your best option for getting into the city. You can leave your car at the station and ride the rail right to Union Station which connects to the Metro.
  • Amtrak also runs all day. You can get from any city in the country to Washington, DC (it just might take you an extra day.)

Cars/Bus: We recommend you do not drive into the city. Parking is outrageous and it is almost impossible to find a spot that will let you stay longer than two hours. If you do drive, make sure you check with your hotel. Some places outside the city will let you park for free but most hotel close to the city charge about $30 per day for parking.

  • BoltBus and MegaBus have routes to Washington, DC from dozens of cities.
  • Once here it is easy to move around. You can hail a cab or use any rideshare program you use at home like Uber or Lyft.


Alliance Members: $100
Non-Alliance Members: $150
Eventbrite - 2018 Young Adult Cancer Action Day

Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to provide stipends or scholarships. If you would like to sponsor travel for the Action Day, please email