For AYA patients (those aged between 18 – 39 and referred to as “Adolescents and Young Adults”), a cancer diagnosis presents different challenges than for younger children or older adults. Cancer can disrupt big milestones that commonly happen during this age range like completing school, choosing a career path, building personal relationships, and working toward emotional, social, and financial independence.

AYA seeks to address the unique needs of AYAs in Utah and the surround states. We currently offer:

  • AYA Nurse Navigators
  • Connection through social media

We collaborate with many neighboring healthcare organizations to ensure AYAs receive the immediate and long-term support services necessary to meet their unique needs. Collaborators include:

  • Intermountain Cancer Centers, clinics, and hospitals, including Primary Children’s Hospital
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute
  • Community Oncologists

Meet Our Navigator

A Nurse Navigator has special training to help AYAs with cancer manage daily life needs and general concerns and expectations. The navigator answers questions and connects AYAs to hospital and community resources. In other words, the navigator helps “navigate” the healthcare system. He or she can also act as the patient’s advocate and supporter.

Margaret Duarte

Margaret obtained her Associates of Science Nursing Degree from Utah Valley Community College and her Bachelor of Science Nursing degree from Brigham Young University, Idaho. Just after graduating from Utah Valley Community College, she began her nursing career in Spokane, Washington where she worked with pediatric and young adult oncology patients for 23 years filling many different roles such as inpatient floor nurse, charge nurse, and assistant nurse manager, outpatient infusion nurse, bleeding/clotting disorder nurse coordinator, hematology/oncology nurse coordinator and APHON chemotherapy/biotherapy instructor.

In her spare time Margaret enjoys spending time with her husband and 7 young adult children and 8 grandchildren. She also enjoys being outdoors mountain biking and hiking whenever possible.

Margaret says, “It has been a wonderfully challenging and rewarding career. It is nice being back in Utah. I am looking forward to serving the adolescent and young adult oncology population in my role as AYA Oncology Nurse Navigator. I love working with the oncology population. My goal is to help improve quality of life while dealing with the reality of a cancer diagnosis and to assist these young adult patients in navigating their lives with hope and anticipation of survivorship.”

Young Adult Connections

Join us for a casual and fun monthly online group dedicated to young adults ages 18-39 who have had a cancer diagnosis. Young Adult Connections offers a chance for you to meet other local young adults who “get it.” Our hope is to help you feel a little less alone and more connected and empowered during tough times. Feel free to bring a guest. Events take place every third Thursday of the month. Young Adult Connection events are held in collaboration with Intermountain Cancer Center and the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Check the HIAYA (Huntsman – Intermountain Adolescent and Young Adult) social media pages each month or email us for event details.

Join Intermountain’s AYA Support Network

Fill out the form below to get started with AYA.

Note: If someone other than the patient is reaching out, please provide your own contact information.

Please note: this program caters to adolescents and young adults (AYAs) between 18 and 39 years old who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Patients over the age of 39 may fill out a different FORM to connect with an Oncology Nurse Navigator or call “Cancer Answers” at 833.321.3332.

*Name: (required)
*Phone Number: (required)
*Email Address: (required)
*Relationship to Patient: (required)
If you did not pick self, please provide the name of the patient:
*Please select your concerns from the list: (required)
If you selected other, please explain:
Questions or concerns:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AYA?

AYA stands for Adolescent and Young Adult. This is a group of people diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 15 and 39.