Why I Give: Steve Young Shares His Story

On January 15, 2013, Steve Young’s life changed forever. The smallbusiness owner and perpetually sore recreational cyclist had been gifted a massage that Christmas and was finally on the table. But the following 60 minutes did not bring the relief or relaxation he was after. His massage therapist came across a suspicious lump in his neck—a troubling find that set in motion a whirlwind year of doctor’s appointments, radiation, chemotherapy, fear and uncertainty. “In an hour, my life was turned upside-down,” says the father of two.

The lump in Young’s neck turned out to be cancerous. His doctor called it a good news/bad news situation—yes, he had cancer, but it was a form

caused by the human papillomavirus, and the odds of successfully treating it were pretty good. Seven weeks of chemotherapy and radiation followed, in which he got to know the doctors and nurses on his Scripps cancer team pretty well. Throughout the pain, loss of appetite, low energy and a roughly 30-pound weight loss, his doctors and nurses were in his corner.


“It was brutal, but everyone I came in contact with made it better and tried to help,” he says.

Young’s treatment initially seemed to be successful, despite some residual swelling. A PET scan was inconclusive. Doctors were unsure whether the treatments had gotten all the cancer, so he was closely monitored. At a checkup around the six month mark, Young’s doctor told him there was a second, smaller tumor, higher up near a sinus.


“You could see the look on his face. I could tell there was a problem,” Young says. Then the process started over again. He underwent another round of radiation, which was significantly easier than the first. The finish line came a year to the day after that fateful massage.

Now five years out from the experience, he remains grateful to the doctors and nurses on his Scripps cancer care team.


“Scripps saved my life.” And when he learned about Scripps’ partnership with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, he knew he had to get involved. The launch of Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center gives the San Diego community access to some of the most advanced cancer care and research in the world. Steve Young and his wife Tamara committed to donating over a five-year span. “I was on board from day one,” he says.


Philanthropy is crucial to nonprofit health systems like Scripps, which cares for 5,000 cancer patients each year. Donations help provide critical services, state-of-the-art equipment and research that will help patients for generations to come.


And you can help, too, by joining the Partners for Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center. It’s not about how much you give; it’s just about giving. “You hope you never need Scripps hospitals, but if you do, you want it to be as good as it can be,” Young says. “The more we as individuals can do, the fewer people will die from cancer.”


Learn more about the Partners

The launch of Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center gives our community in San Diego access to the best cancer care and research out there. It isn't about how much you give, it's just about giving. Because one day, you could need these facilities and this care, and you're going to want them to be the best they can be. A donation today will help us save more lives.