• “Cancer helped form the person I am” – Sam’s story

    For many years, Sam Alderton-Johnson (30) felt shame and despair when he recalled his memories of suffering from leukaemia as a young boy of 14. “When you’re younger you have this warped idea of what masculinity is,” Sam explains. “I thought that being that very sick kid was a terrible time in my life that I never wanted to engage with, that was until I got older and I realised it had helped form the person I am.” As a teenager, Sam enjoyed sports immensely, however, his life was turned upside down with his diagnosis of leukaemia. He remembers the Read more [...]

  • Kids Kicking Cancer: martial arts therapy

    Kids Kicking Cancer is a not-for-profit organisation that teaches the mind-body techniques of Martial Arts instruction, breath work and meditation to empower children beyond the pain and discomfort of disease. Kids Kicking Cancer now offers help and services to not only cancer patients, but any child in pain from a serious illness. They currently operate the Heroes’ Circle program in America, Canada, Israel and Italy and support ill children and their siblings aged 3-23 years old. Using martial arts therapy, Kids Kicking Cancer staff teaches ill children and their siblings to: Regain a sense of control over the chaos of their Read more [...]

  • Cancer information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    The Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council Cancer Council NSW has created cancer information resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. One of the resources is Aboriginal cancer journeys: Our stories of kinship, hope and survival is a factsheet and a booklet of stories from Indigenous people affected by cancer. The PDF was created with funding provided by Cancer Australia, the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW and Cancer Council NSW. This page also links to the Aboriginal Cancer Council website with information about cancer, treatment, support and research. It includes information for the community and health workers Read more [...]

  • How my best friend supported me through my cancer journey

    One key life lesson I gained from my cancer journey is the importance of having friends who will provide unwavering support. I am grateful that my best friend, Brock, never left my side. Whether it was helping me catch up on school work, accompanying me to appointments or spending time on weekends to play sports just so I could get my mind off cancer, Brock was a constant figure during a very turbulent time in my life. In my proudest blog for You Can Connect, I share the history of my friendship with Brock and how our friendship helped me Read more [...]

  • Raising a child with cancer as a single mother

    On the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario website, Ashmara talks about raising her daughter as a single mother. Ashmara’s daughter Adaejah also has down syndrome. Cancer Advisor has a range of personal stories, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • “Death doesn’t have to mean failure” – Sacha’s story

    The Guardian in the UK has published Sacha’s story about her son’s end-of-life experience. David, known as DD, was diagnosed with medulloblastoma – a brain tumour – at aged 11. He died five years later. Sacha has since written a book, Follow the Child to help other parents struggling to come to terms with the death of their child. “I consulted four other sets of parents who were passionate about improving end-of-life care,” she explains. “We have laughed and cried and then needed the reassurance of experienced social workers, palliative nurse and paediatric palliative consultants to check our efforts. I only regret that Read more [...]

  • From vulnerability to resilience during childhood cancer

    In this powerful ASCO journal article, a mother reflects on how her family evolved from vulnerability to resilience during childhood cancer. The childhood cancer patient is referred to as Ben, which is a pseudonym. The article explains, “Although this is the story of 4-year-old Ben, we believe that his and his family’s experiences are relevant to patients of any age who have cancer. (We preserve his anonymity to empower him to decide whether and how to tell his story of vulnerability as an adult.)” Empowerment and resilience are the main themes in this article; and ASCO offers practical tips that Read more [...]

  • Finding hope during childhood cancer – Nancy’s story

    Not ‘just’ a moment is a heartfelt and poetic piece written by Nancy Hamner about finding hope, published on the US website 2Surviveonline. Nancy is a mother whose son Ryan was first diagnosed with cancer at aged six. He has survived four occurrences of hodgkin lymphoma during his childhood. In her personal story she offers up pieces of wisdom such as:  Life is not always what it appears; it is possibly never what it looks like. [H]is doctor has given us a plan, and with that is bestowed the option of hope—a place we choose to live. May you see joy and Read more [...]

  • “Avery’s Fight” – a four year old faces leukaemia

    Avery’s Fight is a four-minute long video by The Project which first aired on Network Ten. On the Ten Play website it says, “Four-year-old Avery Beal has spent most of her life in and out of hospital. And just when she thought she was better, she had to buckle up for yet another fight.” Cancer Advisor has a range of personal stories, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • Tips for facing post-treatment side effects

    In this 2Survive blog post, childhood cancer survivor Ryan offers tips for facing post-treatment side effects including: Know Your Drugs Be Ready Follow Up Be A Jerk Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on life after cancer, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • Our Cancer Journey: Team Bella – Never give up!

    In March of 2014, our family was thrown onto the oncology roller coaster when Bella (aged four), was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (high risk). She would complete two and half years of chemotherapy bringing her into remission. Unfortunately, Bella relapsed in March 2017, eight months post treatment.     Bella would endure another eight months of intense treatment (including more intense chemotherapy followed by two bone marrow transplants). During her treatment, as her mum, carer and advocate, I decided to document her arduous journey. To provide awareness about childhood cancer and in doing so, provide hope, comfort and inspiration Read more [...]

  • Weightlifting at nine year’s old – Ryan’s story

    OnUS blog 2Surviveonline a cancer survivor called Ryan discusses how weightlifting at nine year’s old helped him through cancer. He says, “When I was a kid, I was extremely small from cancer treatment. Chemotherapy made it where I could not really eat so well (shocker). Then there was that whole puking thing that I’m sure many of you survivors know about. But enough of the whining.” Ryan’s grandfather said he would give him a dollar for every pound he put on. Go to his blog to find out more. Cancer Advisor has a range of personal stories, but we’re always looking Read more [...]

  • Siblings You Matter! – a short documentary

    Hi, My name is Genevieve Stonebridge, and I am a clinical counsellor in Victoria, BC, Canada. I created this short video ‘You Matter’ from a research study I did on the experience of undiagnosed siblings who had a brother or sister with cancer. If you want to know why I created this video and my personal connection to cancer, please read more below. If you want to just skip to learning some ways you can help support siblings then please press play!   Why I made this video: When I was 18 I was diagnosed with and treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (that Read more [...]

  • Cancer dads: you’re not alone

    Cancer Dads: You’re Not Alone is a personal story written by Matt Kabel on the St Baldrick’s Foundation website. Earlier this year, Matt wrote about what it’s really like to be a father of a child with cancer. “The post took off and was shared on social media more than anything I had ever written before,” Matt said. The response moved him to start a private Facebook page that is an online support group called Childhood Cancer Dads Support Group. Matt shares what he’s learned since then, with photos submitted by dads in his group. “Every dad who applies is personally vetted prior to being Read more [...]

  • Rhabdoid tumour at 5 months old – Kirsty’s story

    At 5 months old,  Mason was sent to the Emergency Department for stomach pains. Two days later, the hospital began surgery to remove a tumour and his right kidney. Five days later Mason was diagnosed with rhabdoid tumour, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. On the Cancer Council website, Mason’s Kirsty talks about her baby’s cancer diagnosis, life-saving surgery, 30 weeks of chemotherapy, radiation and being five years cancer-free. Cancer Advisor has a range of personal stories, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • The finish line after leukaemia treatment

    My daughter Ruby recently completed her two years of treatment for Leukaemia. This story, that was published on Mamamia, offers some top tips from Ruby about what she has learned (she is only 6) and what I, as a cancer mum, have discovered. My advice for any mum in the same position Allow yourself to feel. If you feel sad, then cry. If you are angry, then scream. If you are happy, then laugh. Don’t pretend you are okay when you are not. Don’t be too proud to ask for help. We all need help sometimes, and there are so many people Read more [...]

  • Adry’s story – a letter to my 17-year-old self

    In 2013, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer that required immediate surgery and multiple cycles of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. At the time I was 17 years old, in my final year of high school and was excited to reap the rewards of my hard work from all my years at school. Being diagnosed with cancer changed all that – it made me feel like my world had fallen apart. Now, at 22 years of age and having been in remission for nearly five years, I am able to look back at my cancer journey and realise that Read more [...]

  • What’s behind the mask of a Cancer Dad?

    What’s behind the mask of a Cancer Dad? is a collection of short quotes from anonymous fathers who have a child with cancer. The quotes were collected by author Mark Meyers whose youngest daughter died of Ewing’s Sarcoma in 2015.  Each quote begins with I think you should know that … Examples of quotes include: I think you should know that on some level I feel like this is my fault. I think you should know that I would have died for my baby but wasn’t given the option. I think you should know that not only did I wonder “Why my Read more [...]

  • Hearts for Eva – Sharleigh’s story

    ABC online has published a 6-min documentary and personal story by bereaved mother Sharleigh Stevenson about her daughter Eva. This touching video also features comments by Gerald Purchase, a clinical psychologist as well as footage and interviews with Eva herself. At four-years-old Eva was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. Sharleigh was told there was no cure. They lived in Victorian regional town called Sunraysia. A local man called John Burfitt held a fundraiser called “Hearts for Eva” to raise money for Eva’s cancer treatment. Hearts for Eva became a global phenomenon. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on end of life, but we’re Read more [...]