No Surrender

Posted on: 02 October 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

An online support network for young people with cancer.

When Jason Boas was diagnosed at 33 with Pancreatic Cancer, and given less than a year to live, he discovered that he had become a member of the club that nobody wants to join.

Unable to find a support network for young people, No Surrender was born as a way of finding other people experiencing the same hopes, fears and fight. No Surrender is, in effect, the UK’s first social network that nobody wants to find their friends on.

The idea was formed after Jason’s initial diagnosis, when he bought a video camera to provide his close friends with an update on his progress, and was amazed to discover that over 1500 people from all over the world were tuning in to watch his video blogs – many of which were streamed direct from hospital - on a weekly basis.

Jason realised that a social network was needed, one that that allowed users to vent their feelings, upload video blogs, meet friends and chat – and offer support, advice and encouragement for those that needed it most.

The site is now an invaluable centre for others like him who feel they have nowhere else to turn. Their new slogan says it all: “They call it a network, we call it a family”.

Users can meet other sufferers and discuss the host of new issues and worries unique to young ill people such as dealing with the grief of your parents and the pain of your friends, too exhausted to work or date, the sheer boredom of hospital life, and the huge outward physical changes from the invasive treatments.  As Jason jokes, “at No Surrender we take more drugs than Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty!”

The No Surrender Trust funds care and support for young adults with cancer and their families. This year the trust has held a series of events to raise funds, from golf to football, and a concert featuring appearances from bands including Blood Red Shoes, Mystery Jets and Maximo Park.

Get involved and find out more at


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