Meet our new Cancer Support Specialist Hannah

 In Group Support, News, Young people
Hannah Farrell is one of our Cancer Support Specialists who works with children and young people who have a parent diagnosed with cancer.  Hannah joined us from the children’s Haematology and Oncology ward at the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children where she worked as a nurse for almost six years.

We caught up with Hannah find out more about her, and her role at Cancer Fund for Children.

Can you tell us about your experience as a nurse? 

I worked on the best ward, with the best people and met some of the bravest, funniest and most amazing kids anyone could hope to meet.  Everyday felt like a privilege.

My job involved administering chemotherapy in all forms, taking responsibility for being the nurse in charge (which many of the kids often found hilarious), and supporting the brilliant team of nurses who work on the ward.  Most importantly I had the absolute privilege of being allowed into a family’s life during the most devastating of circumstances.  My aim was to help them in whatever way I could, should that just be by making them smile.

Why did you decide to join Cancer Fund for Children?

I had the pleasure of meeting some of the charity’s team of Cancer Support Specialists on the ward, and saw first-hand the impact their support has on

Cancer Fund for Children Specialist Regina, Hannah and Volunteer Shannon

local children and young people impacted by cancer.

They have the ability to walk into a hospital room and create a safe environment for children to talk, even if it is just for an hour.  They help young people to forget about their cancer and focus on themselves.

In a hectic, ever-changing environment like nursing it is hard to be able to provide young people with this space and time.  Taking on the role of a Cancer Support Specialist with Cancer Fund for Children has given me the opportunity to step away from essential medical tasks, which are a necessity of nursing, and focus on the child/young person who can often be overshadowed by their cancer diagnosis.

What are you looking forward to most about working with Cancer Fund for Children?

I love getting down to the charity’s residential facility in Newcastle and staying in their Narnia log cabin.  You get to wake up to the most beautiful

views of the Mourne Mountains, which is a massive winner.  But what is even better is that I get to spend time there with an incredible group of young people.

I’m really looking forward to creating a space where they can be empowered, connected and strengthened in the midst of the chaos of cancer.

How was your first residential experience?

IT WAS AMAZING! I loved every hectic minute.  I don’t think I could have picked a better group of kids to spend time with for my first residential.  They made it very easy, with their brilliantly different personalities and ability to have so much fun whilst talking candidly about some of the big issues in their lives.

Big shout out to my fellow Cancer Support Specialists Regina and Gareth who helped to show me the ropes.

What has been your most memorable moment so far?

Winning my first game of pool whilst on a residential.  It was a monumental moment and no one needs to know the age of my opponent!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love spending time with my family and friends, especially if it involves going to the North Coast.  I’m a massive advocate of treating yourself so I’m a big fan of spas.  I’m also attempting to learn to play the guitar.

Finally tell us one interesting fact about yourself?

It is one of my life ambitions to communicate with someone by carrier pigeon!

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