AYA Team​​


Program Coordinator: Luxshiga Premakumar

What's New​​


March AYA newsletter​ [PDF, opens in new window] »

What We Do​​​​

The AYA Program provides personalized, supportive care related to concerns common to young adults with cancer at Princess Margaret. These concerns include fertility, sexual health, school and work concerns, peer support, and wellness. For Princess Margaret patients age 39 or younger, the AYA Program can:

  • Identify your individual needs
  • Provide education and support
  • Link you to other community and hospital services and resources
  • Help you connect to other patients​

How to Get Referred

Referrals to the AYA Program can be made by:
  • Health care providers. Refer a Princess Margaret AYA patient to the program by contacting the AYA office directly, by email or fax. eFax referrals to 416 946 2069. UHN referrals through EPIC.
  • Patients. If you are a Princess Margaret patient, you can self-refer to the program anytime by emailing

AYA Program contact cards are also located in all clinic areas and in the Patient & Family Library. Learn more about the Princess Margaret Patient & Family Library »

How Long Does a Referral Take?

The AYA Program will contact you with your appointment time. Email the AYA office if you do not receive information about your appointment within a few weeks.​

AYA Resources

Approximately 1,500 adolescents and young adults (ages 15 to 39) are diagnosed with cancer each year at Princess Margaret. It is important to realize that these patients have unique psychosocial needs and concerns that need to be addressed. Click on a topic below to learn more and access related resources.

AYA Education Videos

Find educational videos, documentaries, and lectures that cover a variety of AYA topics like fertility, mental health, and palliative care.


Health Information

Resources from the Patient and Family Education Program PDF Icon

    *These material(s) are also available in other languages. Access health information in other languages »

    Resources from this Clinic

      Resources from the Community

        Donor Search Process

          Visit our Health Information section to find dedicated resources to help you understand your condition. Find the information you're looking for »

          The Team​

          Headshot of Abha Gupta Dr. Abha GuptaMedical Director, AYA Program
          Headshot of Marlie Smith Marlie SmithInterim Clinical Nurse Specialist
          Headshot of Jennifer Catsburg Jennifer Catsburg
          (On Leave)
          Clinical Nurse Specialist
          Headshot of Luxshiga Premakumar Luxshiga PremakumarProgram Coordinator
          Headshot of Emily Barca Emily Barca​Social Worker
          Headshot of Chana Korenblum Dr. Chana KorenblumPhysician, Psychosocial Oncology
          Headshot of Kim Edelstein Dr. Kim EdelsteinClinical Neuropsychologist
          Headshot of Ahmed Al-Awamer Dr. Ahmed Al-AwamerPhysician, Palliative Care
          Headshot of Dr. Pamela Mosher Dr. Pamela MosherPsychiatrist
          Headshot of Dr. Norma D'Agostino Dr. Norma D'AgostinoClinical Psychologist
          Headshot of Dr. Aliza Panjwani Dr. Aliza PanjwaniClinical Psychologist
          Headshot of Dr. Jonathan Avery Dr. Jonathan AveryPsychosocial Researcher
          Headshot of Dr. Scott Adams Dr. Scott AdamsKinesiologist
          Headshot of Sharon D'Souza Sharon D'SouzaPOGO/AYA School and Work Transitions Counsellor​

          AYA Newslet​ters

          Latest edition: March 2023

          Image of the AYA Program logo  

          Read the latest newsletter​ [PDF, opens in new window] »

          • AYA Yoga: March 16
          • AYA Meet Up: March 22​

          Past editions:


          ​About AYA Meet-Ups

          The AYA Meet-Ups are facilitated meet-up sessions for young adults under 39 with any type of cancer. Supporters (friends, family and partners) are welcome.​​ At this time, the meet-up is run as a virtual monthly event.


          Registration is required by phone or email. Call 416 946 4501 ext. 3547 or email​ to register and receive the meeting link.​​​​

          Personal Stories

          Read Stories from AYA Community Members 

          Alyssa's Story: My Life - Living With Multiple Myeloma

          Alyssa headshot  

          I have been living with multiple myeloma for 10 years now, but what makes my story unique is I am only 42 years old. It is possible to live a full life, even when you are diagnosed with an incurable cancer at 32.

          Continue reading Alyssa's story »

          Emily's Story: Reaching New Goals

          Emily with her husband at Run for the Cure  

          I was 27 and had just moved to Toronto to pursue my legal career and finally live with my husband. We were married the year before and living long-distance while I was in law school. On August 26, 2015, I had to put my career on hold to endure a year of treatments for triple positive, stage three breast cancer.

          Continue reading Emily's story »

          Dory's Story: Focusing on the Positives

          Dory Kashin and her husband on their wedding day  

          Dory Kashin remembers "complete shock" when she got her cancer diagnosis. At 29, she was established in a busy career as an event planner, enjoying living in Toronto, and in a committed relationship with her boyfriend of two years.

          Continue reading Dory's story »

          Adriana's Story: "It’s just cancer; I’m going to be all right."

          Adriana Lombardo, acute lymphoblastic leukemia survivor, wearing black dress  

          I was seventeen and in Grade 12 when I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). It was December 1, 2014, a Monday morning, when I was trying out for soccer and the coach told us to run some laps.

          Continue reading Adriana's story »

          Brandon's Story: Finding My New Normal

          headshot of Brandon, brain cancer survivor  

          Before cancer I was living the dream. I was 26, had a great job, amazing friends, a supportive family, and was living in downtown Toronto. I had a clear sense of where I was and where I was headed.

          Continue reading Brandon's story »

          Julia's Story: Joyful in Hope

          Julia, diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer, sitting with husband Andy in front of fireplace  

          Being diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer at the age of 26 was not the fertility clinic outcome I was hoping for. My husband and I had been trying for a year and a half when we received this shocking news.

          Continue reading Julia's story »

          Suzanne's Story

          Hodgkin's Lymphoma survivor Suzanne Urpecz and her husband on their wedding day  

          2016 was supposed to be the year we were going to buy a house and start a family of our own. We had recently returned from a trip to Australia in the spring when I received my diagnosis - Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was shocked and deeply saddened.

          Continue reading Suzanne's story »

          The C Word: Young Adults Talk About Living with Cancer video series

          C-Word video series where young adults talk about life with cancer  

          ​Seven young adult cancer survivors candidly answer questions about life, being young, and having cancer in this video series. Featuring Stephanie Sliekers, Carolyn Van, Kyla Demarco, Vinesha Ramasamy, Thomas Cantley, Alyssa Whiteman, and Peter Laneas.

          Watch The C Word video series »

          UHN and Princess Margaret Patient Stories​

          Dory Kashin and her husband on their wedding day

          Dory Kashin and her now husband were forced to think about family planning early on in their relationship when Dory was diagnosed with breast cancer two years into dating. Learn how the Adolescent & Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program at Princess Margaret helped her navigate her diagnosis.

          Sabrina Fuoco sitting in a restaurant

          Five-time cancer survivor Sabrina Fuoco shares her remarkable story in this four part series.

          Laurie Tucker and Kevin LeNeve holding their Michael Kamin Hart Award certificates

          Laurie Tucker, Wig Salon Specialist and Kevin LeNeve, Radiation Therapist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, are the 2015 recipients of the Michael Kamin Hart Award for Excellence in Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Care.

          Carolyn wearing black tank top

          "One of the reasons cancer is so difficult for young people is because you're at a point in your life when you're still growing and evolving, and trying to figure out who you are."

          Adriana Lombardo standing with her arm around her mom

          Adriana Lombardo had plans: to attend high school graduation, to spend a post-grad trip in Spain and to start school at George Brown College in September.

          A young patient standing with Shawn Mendes

          The AYA program recently hosted a Look Good Feel Good event for young adult patients on Jan. 21. 

          Michael Kamin Hart standing outside

          Vibrant, intelligent and compassionate – Michael Kamin Hart was diagnosed with lymphoma and passed away on June 5, 2011 at the age of 25. His family created the Michael Kamin Hart Award for Excellence in Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Care in his honour.

          Person writing in a notebook  

          Share Your Story

          Are you a patient, family member, caregiver or friend who is willing to share your personal cancer story? We want to hear from you! Email for more information.


          1. Peer support needs and preferences for digital peer navigation among adolescent and young adults with cancer: A Canadian cross-sectional survey [opens in new window]. Current Oncology (2022). Authors: Bender JL, Puri N, Salih S, D'Agostino N, Tsimicalis A, Howard AF, Garland SN, Chalifour K, Drake EK, Maratto A, McKean NL, Gupta AA.
          2. Looking back to move forward: Lessons learned from a successful, sustainable, replicable model of adolescent and young adult program of a tertiary cancer care center [opens in new window]. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol (2022). Authors: Pitch N, Stefaniuk S, MacMillan M, Catsburg J, Gupta AA, Vora T.
          3. Preliminary findings of focus group analysis to support the needs of adolescent and young adult patients and survivors of cancer: Steps toward a national adolescent and young adult supportive care program [opens in new window]. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol (2021). Authors: Vora T, Chapman S, Uppal S, Shanawaz S, Emanuele C, Gupta AA, Avery J.
          4. Peer support needs of adolescents with cancer in pediatrics: A Canadian mixed methods study [opens in new window]. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol (2021). Authors: Weidman D, Gupta AA, Bender J, Klinger C, Colquhoun H, Desmarais P, Stevens K.
          5. Internet and social media use in cancer patients: association with distress and perceived benefits and limitations [opens in new window]. Support Care Cancer (2021). Authors: Jacqueline Bender, Katrina Hueniken, Lawson Eng, M Catherine Brown, Shayan Kassirian, Ilana Geist, Karmugi Balaratnam, Mindy Liang, Chelsea B Paulo, Arielle Geist, Pryangka Rao, Alexander Magony, Elliot C Smith, Wei Xu, Geoffrey Liu, and Abha A Gupta.
          6. Letter to the Editor: Music meet up -- Preliminary results of a novel music therapy group intervention for adolescents and young adults with cancer [opens in new window]. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol (2021). Authors: Samadi M, Avery J, Black SR, Gupta AA, Korenblum CB.
          7. Supporting the needs of adolescents and young adults: Integrated palliative care and psychiatry clinic for adolescents and young adults with cancer [opens in new window]. Cancers (Basel) (2021). Authors: Abdelaal M, Mosher PJ, Gupta AA, Bannon B, Cameron C, Berman M, Moineddin R, Avery J, Mitchell L, Li M, Zimmermann C, Al-Awamer A.
          8. Preferences for exercise and physical activity support in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors: A cross-sectional survey [opens in new window]. Supportive Care in Cancer (2021). Authors: Adams SC, Petrella A, Sabiston C, Vani MF, Gupta AA, Trinh L, Mathew AG, Hamilton RJ, Santa Mina D.
          9. Young Adult Cancer Survivorship: Recommendations for Patient Follow-up, Exercise Therapy, and Research [PDF, opens in new window]. JNCI Cancer Spectrum (2021). Authors: Scott C Adams, Jennifer Herman, Iliana C Lega, Laura Mitchell, David Hodgson, Kim Edelstein, Lois B Travis, Catherine M Sabiston, Paaladinesh Thavendiranathan, and Abha A Gupta.
          10. Health-related social media use and preferences of adolescent and young adult cancer patients for virtual programming [opens in new window]. Support Care Cancer (2020). Authors: Reenika Aggarwal, Katrina Hueniken, Lawson Eng, Shayan Kassirian, Ilana Geist, Karmugi Balaratnam, Mindy Liang, Chelsea B Paulo, Arielle Geist, Pryangka Rao, Laura Mit​chell, Alexander Magony, Jennifer M Jones, Samir C Grover, M Catherine Brown, Jackie Bender, Wei Xu, Geoffrey Liu, and Abha A Gupta.
          11. Fertility Preservation in Young Adults: Prevalence, Correlates, and Relationship with Post-Traumatic Growth [opens in new window]. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol (2020). Authors: Lauren C Daniel, Catherine M Sabiston, Morgan Pitock, Abha A Gupta, Karine Chalifour, Geoff Eaton, and Sheila N Garland.
          12. Age differences in patterns and confidence of using internet and social media for cancer-care among cancer survivors [opens in new window]. J Geriatr Onc (2020). Authors: Lawson Eng, Jackie Bender, Katrina Hueniken, Shayan Kassirian, Laura Mitchell, Reenika Aggarwal, Chelsea Paulo, Elliot C Smith, Ilana Geist, Karmugi Balaratnam, Alexander Magony, Mindy Liang, Dongyang Yang, Jennifer M Jones, M Catherine Brown, Wei Xu, Samir C Grover, Shabbir MH Alibhai, Geoffrey Liu, and Abha A Gupta.
          13. Evaluation of an Educational Whiteboard Video to Introduce Fertility Preservation to Female Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer [opens in new window]. JCO Oncol Pract (2020). Authors: Talia Greenspoon, Rebecca Charow, Janet Papadakos, Mahsa Samadi, Anne Marie Maloney, Chelsea Paulo, Victoria Forcina, Li Chen, Adrian Thavaratnam, Laura Mitchell, Armando Lorenzo, and Abha A Gupta.
          14. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Intervention for Young Adults with Cancer: A Pilot Mixed-Method Study [opens in new window]. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol (2020). Authors: Rinat S Nissim, Amanda Roth, Abha A Gupta, and Mary Elliott.
          15. Crucial Conversations: Addressing informational needs of adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer [PDF, opens in new window]. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (2018). Authors: Laura Mitchell, Seline Tam, and Abha A. Gupta
          16. Measuring the Impact of an Adolescent and Young Adult Program on Addressing Patient Care Needs [PDF, opens in new window].  Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (2018).  AuthorsLaura Mitchell, Seline Tam, Jeremy Lewin, Amirrtha Srikanthan, Carol Heck, David Hodgson, Branavan Vakeesan, Hao-Wen Sim, and Abha A Gupta
          17. Perceptions and attitudes towards clinical trials in adolescent and young adults with cancer: a systematic review [PDF, opens in new window].  Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics (2018).  Authors: Victoria Forcina, Branavan Vakeesan, Chelsea Paulo, Laura Mitchell, Jennifer AH Bell, Seline Tam, Kate Wang, Abha A Gupta and Jeremy Lewinz
          18. Perceptions of and decision making about clinical trials in adolescent and young adults with Cancer: a qualitative analysis [PDF, opens in new window].  BMC Cancer (2018). Authors: Jennifer AH Bell, Victoria Forcina, Laura Mitchell, Seline Tam, Kate Wang, Abha A Gupta and Jeremy Lewin
          19. Sexual health issues for the young adult with cancer: an international symposium held during the first global adolescents and young adults cancer congress (Edinburg, United Kingdom) [PDF, opens in new window].  Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (2018)Authors: Laura Mitchell, Jeremy Lewin, Julia Dirks, Kate Wang, Seline Tam, Anne Katz, Beth McCann, Kirk Lo, Valerie Laurence, Christine Rousset-Jablonski and Abha A Gupta
          20. Fertility preservation in post-pubescent female cancer patients: A practical guideline for clinicians [opens in new window].  Mol Clin Oncol (2018)Authors: Amirrtha Srikanthan, Eitan Amir, Philippe Bedard, Meredith Giuliani, David Hodgson, Stephanie Laframboise, Anca Prica, Karen Yee, Ellen Greenblatt, Jeremy Lewin and Abha A Gupta
          21. The positive effect of a dedicated adolescent and young adult fertility program on the rates of documentation of therapy associated infertility risk and fertility preservation options [PDF, opens in new window].  Supportive Care in Cancer (2017)Authors: Jeremy Lewin, Justin Ming Zheng Ma, Laura Mitchell, Seline Tam, Natasha Puri, Derek Stephens, Amirrtha Srikanthan, Philippe Bedard, Albiruni Razak, Michael Crump, David Warr, Meredith Giuliani and Abha A Gupta
          22. Adolescents and young adults: addressing needs and optimizing care with a clinical nurse specialist [PDF, opens in new window].  Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (2017).  Authors: Laura Mitchell, Terri Stuart-McEwan, Hayley Panet and Abha A Gupta
          23. Advanced practice nurses: improving access to fertility preservation for oncology patients [opens in new window].  Can Oncol Nurs J (2016)Authors: Eleanor Hendershot, Anne-Marie Maloney, Sandy Fawcett, Sharmy Sarvanantham, Eileen McMahon, Abha A Gupta and Laura Mitchell
          24. Improving access to standardized fertility preservation information for older adolescents and young adults with cancer: Using a user-centered approach with young adult patients, survivors, and partners to refine fertility knowledge transfer [opens in new window].  J Cancer Educ (2016)Authors: Seline Tam, Natasha Puri, Derek Stephens, Laura Mitchell, Meredith Giuliani, Janet Papadakos, and Abha A Gupta
          25.  Reimagining care for adolescent and young adult cancer programs: moving with the times [opens in new window].  Cancer (2016).  Authors: Abha A Gupta, Janet K Papadakos, Jennifer M Jones, Leila Amin, Eugene K Chang, Chana Korenblum, Daniel Santa Mina, Lianne McCabe, Laura Mitchell and Meredith Giuliani ​

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          Last reviewed: 10/17/2022
          Last modified: 3/6/2023 7:29 AM