Heidi Schultz Adams has been a tireless patient advocate since surviving Ewing’s sarcoma in her mid-20s. Her career in advocacy began in 2000 when she founded a pioneering non-profit called Planet Cancer to create a community of support and advocacy for young adults with cancer, a first in the digital space, and to raise awareness about their unique medical and psychosocial needs. Her groundbreaking work on behalf of young adults with cancer continued as a volunteer leader of the LIVESTRONG Young Adult Alliance, a unique international coalition of nearly 200 advocacy organizations and health care institutions, all working together to improve survival rates and quality of life for young adults with cancer.
Planet Cancer was acquired by the LIVESTRONG Foundation in 2009, which Heidi joined to assume a broader role overseeing grassroots advocacy and digital initiatives, eventually becoming Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. Last year, she returned to her passion of serving young adults with cancer by taking the role of the first President and CEO of Critical Mass, the new organization formed in the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s spinoff of the Young Adult Alliance.
She has been widely recognized for her work on behalf of young adults over the years, including being named a Swiffer Amazing Woman of the Year and one of four national Health Heroes honored by WebMD magazine. In 2008, she was a national winner of the prestigious Lane Adams Award from the American Cancer Society, which recognizes exemplary cancer care. A writer by preference, Heidi is the co-author of two books in the cancer space: Here and Now: Inspiring Stories of Cancer Survivors and Planet Cancer: (The Frequently Bizarre but Always Informative Experiences and Thoughts of Your Fellow Natives).