iy Founder Matthew Zachary Profiled on Wall Street Journal Health Blog
Posted Aug 24 2008 2:56pm
Ad Man Sees Young Cancer Patients as Consumer Bloc
In 1995, Matthew Zachary was a 21-year-old concert pianist. He began to lose the use of his left hand, was diagnosed with brain cancer and given six months to live.
As he went through treatment and beyond, he found that cancer support tended to focus on young children and older adults. There seemed to be a gap for young adults, who have particular concerns (such as infertility, a common side effect of cancer treatment) as well as a sensibility that’s somewhere between the nursery and the retirement center.
“I felt very isolated,” he told the Health Blog. “I wasn’t really treated age appropriately.”
Zachary survived his treatment, regained the use of his hand, and went to work in advertising and marketing. But as he tried to get on with his life, it bugged him that there didn’t seem to be much in the way of resources for young adults who had survived cancer.
So a few years back, he launched I’m Too Young For This, an advocacy group for young adults affected by cancer.
The group is pretty media savvy — witness the YouTube video on the homepage, the social networking presence, etc. And Zachary’s not afraid to bring marketing tools developed to sell consumer goods to bear on his work. Listen to the way he throws around the fancy terms in the video — affinity marketing, anyone?