Siblings You Matter! – a short documentary

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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 was 16 years ago, I am happy to say I am cancer free now). Throughout my cancer experience I would often talk about what cancer was like for me and reflect with my parents about how it was for them (we’re a family who likes to talk about our feelings, it feels good 🙂 ).

However, even though we liked talking about our feelings, my little sister Jazzy (who was 13 when I was diagnosed) didn’t talk about what it was like for her. And it turns out she had quite a lot of feelings about it.

It wasn’t until I was 26 years old and working for Camp Goodtimes (a childhood oncology camp in BC, Canada) when I started considering Jazzy’s perspective. The reason for this was that Camp Goodtimes includes the siblings in all of their programming because they know that siblings are impacted too! (Camp Goodtimes is smart)

This got me and Jazzy talking and she reflected that she had been deeply impacted, and had needed some special kinds of support that she didn’t get. We had a big family hug of healing about this and our conversations inspired me to conduct a research study dedicated to focusing on the needs of the undiagnosed siblings (I did this research when I was pursuing my Masters of Counselling Psychology at the University of Victoria).

My qualitative research study interviewed 7 siblings who are now adults, and who were all between the ages of 11-18 years old when their sibling was diagnosed with and treated for cancer. The intention of the video is to support other siblings and families to help spread the word “Siblings You Matter!”

If you would like to learn more about the research study please check out my website (http://siblingsyoumatter.squarespace.com). Additional credits and thanks for the creation of the film go to Susan Tasker (research and production); Tenille Tasker of Bottega Creative (editing and producing); Julia Dillon-Davis (screen-writing and directing); Denis Falardeau (Camera); Justin VilleBrun (Camera).

Thanks for watching,
Genevieve

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

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Comments

Rachel Downard

Such a great clip! I wish that my parents had someone guide them through some of the needs that I had while my brother was going through cancer treatment, There were so many things happening while he was sick that it was easy to feel forgotten or over-sheltered and his needs had to be prioritised.

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