I’ve Got Cancer
We understand that a cancer diagnosis is scary for anyone. People react in all kinds of ways when they find out. You may be angry, confused, and in shock not only about the cancer itself, but also about the changes that are happening to you and your family as a result of your diagnosis.
You are not alone. Cancer Fund for Children is here to help you, your brothers, sisters, mum and dad too.
Our team of Cancer Support Specialists work in homes, hospitals and communities across Northern Ireland. They are here to help you understand what you are going through and to help you cope better.
Having cancer can be an isolating experience, where you miss out on school, seeing friends and doing normal things. Cancer Fund for Children’s Cancer Support Specialists are professionally trained in the issues facing young people with cancer. They are here to listen and provide you with the support that is right for you.
Together with your Cancer Support Specialist you can:
- Speak confidentially about how you feel
- Ask questions about anything that is worrying you
- Be introduced to other young people going through a similar experience
- Take part in activities that are fun and will help you feel less isolated
Support In Hospital
We are one of five charities working in partnership with the Northern Ireland Health Trusts to provide a new Teenage and Young Adult (TYA) Regional Cancer Support Service which will ensure that teenagers and young adults diagnosed with cancer can have access to age-appropriate care and practical, social, and emotional support regardless of where they live.
As part of the new service we fund a dedicated Cancer Fund for Children TYA Cancer Support Specialist whose role is to provide support to 12-24 year old’s on the hospital ward and at regional cancer centres across Northern Ireland. Our Specialist works with teenagers and young adults to help reduce their isolation whilst they are in hospital, facilitate individual and group activities, discuss some of the challenges and worries young people are facing and provide them with the opportunity to connect with other young people who know what they are going through.
We understand how valuable peer support is for young people diagnosed with cancer and our TYA Cancer Support Specialist also creates opportunities for young people to make connections outside of the ward.
Our TYA Cancer Support Specialist works regionally allowing them to support young people who are transitioning between different hospital teams. When meeting families on the ward this is a great opportunity for us to tell you about the range of support Cancer Fund for Children offer.
Residential Group Support
We provide residential group support for children and young people diagnosed with cancer, and their brothers and sisters at Narnia our residential centre in Newcastle Co. Down.
These activities bring young people going through a similar experience together to have fun and make new friends. We provide lots of exciting opportunities and experiences such as camping, rock climbing and canoeing. Taking part in residential group support will help you:
- Learn new skills
- Grow in confidence
- Discuss your feelings with people who understand
- Make memories
- Make new friends
Support For Brothers And Sisters
Cancer Fund for Children is here to support brothers and sisters too. No matter how much you hoped it wouldn’t, life changes once a siblings has been diagnosed with cancer.
Our team of Cancer Support Specialists are here to talk to if you’re feeling worried, lonely and anxious. A lot of young people say the best support comes from others who have been in the same boat. Through group support and organised activities, you will be able to meet other young people in a similar situation and be able to:
- Talk about changes in your family
- Make new friends
- Share experiences
- Learn new skills
Support For Parents
When your child is diagnosed with cancer it can feel like normal life stops and a different journey begins. We know that every parent’s experience of childhood cancer is different and we want you to know we are here for you.
Cancer Fund for Children’s Cancer Support Specialists can provide you with Individual Support. During individual support sessions you will be able to talk openly about any worries and concerns you are having in a safe and supportive environment. This help is available to you as parents, to your diagnosed child and their siblings too.
Our Cancer Support Specialista will also provide you with information about our range of financial grants, therapeutic short breaks and self-catering breaks, as well as residential group support for children and young people at Narnia, our unique log cabin in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains.
We understand that the loss of a child has a devastating impact on families. We want you to know we are there for you throughout this time.
Cancer Fund for Children’s Community Specialists offer bereavement support to families who have lost a child or young person to cancer.
This support can be provided on a one-to-one basis, through group work in the community and through residential group support for bereaved siblings.
We offer a safe and supportive setting where experiences and feelings can be shared. Bereaved families are also welcome to take a therapeutic short break at Daisy Lodge and the Cottages in Coleraine.
For more information about the support available to bereaved families please contact Cancer Fund for Children Therapeutic Services Manager on 028 9080 5599 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.