Cancer dads: you’re not alone

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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 accepted via a personal message before they are able to view and participate,” he explains. “This way, the group is a safe environment where dads can be open and honest about their feelings. We have ground rules set up to protect each other’s privacy and respect everyone’s views.”

Cancer Advisor has a range of resources for dads, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

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Janine Cawthray

In Queensland my husband started a mens group around 18 months ago after several requests from like minded dads for a safe place to vent without judgement. Men do think and feel differently to women. The expectations upon men to continue to be ‘strong’, to keep providing for their family and also be involved, creates an enormous amount of stress upon the entire family. The page is called ‘LCCH oncology dads’. Member requests are vetted and the page has a set of guidelines. At times when we are in Brisbane for checkups, my husband will arrange social get togethers for the group. I believe there may also be a mens only group in Perth based along similar lines as my husbands, after I was involved with some cancer family forums and gave details of hubbys mens group? It is wonderful to see this idea gain momentum and provide support.

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