• Advice on friendship during your cancer journey

    This article Cancer and your friends from Redkite offers some advice around friendship during your cancer journey. Often young people find telling their friends about their cancer diagnosis particularly difficult. Even without cancer, people and relationships change – you may find that certain friendships change and new ones may emerge. Some ways to maintain friendships during this time include: Try to be honest and open with them if you can and lean on them when you need to Warn them you may be snappy or angry at times and ask them to forgive you if needed Ask them to keep inviting you Read more [...]

  • Support for grandparents of kids with cancer

    Grandparents of Kids with Cancer is a web page which offers support for grandparents around the world, giving them a place to share their experiences with other people who have a grandchild with cancer. They advocate for the important role that grandparents play in the family, and acknowledge the emotional and practical needs of grandparents. On the website they say, “Being told that your grandchild has cancer is devastating. Not only is your grandchild going through the most traumatic experience, but your own child is also facing the worst pain imaginable. Talking to other grandparents who are going through the Read more [...]

  • Cancer survivor creates empathy cards

    Emily McDowell has created these empathy cards for people with serious illnesses. As a cancer survivor herself, Emily understands that sometimes people don’t know what to say to someone when they are diagnosed with cancer. “The most difficult part of my illness wasn’t losing my hair, or being erroneously called ‘sir’ by Starbucks baristas, or sickness from chemo. It was the loneliness and isolation I felt when many of my close friends and family members disappeared because they didn’t know what to say, or said the absolute wrong thing without realizing it.” – Emily McDowell These quirky empathy cards will Read more [...]

  • Leaving hospital

    When a child or young person finishes cancer treatment it can be a time of mixed emotions. Often this is a long anticipated event, and when it feels like they should be happy and celebrating, families may also feel anxious and overwhelmed. Leaving hospital and going home will be a different experience for each person, but Cancer Advisor has some resources on finishing treatment that may be useful. “Leaving hospital can be a scary time for a lot of families. They talk about leaving the safety net of the hospital, leaving their oncology family. Often losing this close support is the Read more [...]

  • Cnected – Cancer app created by cancer survivor

    Hi, I’m Jack – the creator of the cancer app Cnected, I am 21 years old. In October 2017 I was diagnosed with a rare stage III cancer (undifferentiated carcinoma), and decided to set up an Instagram page to document my journey (@itsme_jmo). Following intense and aggressive chemo and radiotherapy for head and neck tumours at The Royal Marsden, in May of this year I was thankfully given a clean bill of health. Over the past few months, through my Instagram page, I connected with many cancer patients, survivors and family members of patients. I realised how powerful and beneficial social Read more [...]

  • One step closer to compulsory cancer education in UK

    Health education (including sex and relationship education) will become compulsory in the UK. According to a CoppaFeel press release this is one step closer to receiving compulsory cancer education. CoppaFeel is a UK breast cancer awareness charity. In their release, they explain: The guidance released today by the Department of Education shows great progress [showing]the need for pupils to be taught about not only the benefits of healthy eating and keeping fit (important factors to preventing cancer), but also the prevention of health problems and self examination. As we all know, preventing and detecting cancer early is vital in order to give Read more [...]

  • Cultural barriers in cancer treatment: Aboriginal communities

    VJOncology (The Video Journal of Oncolgoy) has created a video about the cultural barriers in cancer treatment in regards to Aboriginal communities. In this three minute video, Jasmine Micklem, PhD, of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute talks with Roslyn Weetra, an Aboriginal Elder and cancer survivor. Even though this video was created in South Australia, Doctor Micklem talks about these barriers as a nationwide issue. She opens with, “We found across all of the states there are disparities, particularly around mortality.” She continues that Aboriginal people are diagnosed with cancer at the same rate as other Australians, however, Read more [...]

  • Livewire – an online community for teens

    When you’re a teenager with a serious illness, not many people really get what you’re going through – and it can be hard for siblings too. That’s why we’ve created Livewire: a safe community for young people aged 12-20 living with disability, serious illness or a chronic health condition who can do with crew who understand and offer a little extra support. Online, Livewire is a place you can visit any time, knowing you’re always amongst friends who genuinely care. Here, you can swap stories, ask for ideas, and talk about whatever’s going on in your life, from operations, MRIs Read more [...]

  • Sharing my cancer story at Sydney Colour Ball 2018

    Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of sharing my cancer story at Sydney Colour Ball 2018 at Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour. The Sydney Colour Ball is an annual, cocktail-style event that raises important funds for Redkite so they can reach even more families affected by cancer and provide them with its essential services. Every year, guests are encouraged to dress up in the colour theme – and this year’s colour was ultraviolet! The fun, party-like atmosphere of the Sydney Colour Ball certainly helped remove any nerves I had about sharing my story. There were lots of good food, drinks Read more [...]

  • Battle Weapons: A coping guide for young people with cancer

    Hi, my name is Nell and I’m the author of Battle Weapons: A coping guide for young people with cancer. I’m also a nurse and a cancer survivor. In high school, when we started the discussion about our future, my career advisor suggested nursing. This really appealed to me; to serve and support people at their most vulnerable is a great honour and privilege. Nursing is very diverse and I wasn’t sure for a long time where I wanted to take it, until I was diagnosed with cancer. I know my life’s purpose is to help those with cancer, particularly young people. Read more [...]

  • “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 [...]

  • What it’s like being a man affected by cancer

    Being diagnosed with cancer at 17 years of age changed my perception of what it means to be a man. Initially, I believed that being a man meant I had to hide the sadness and anger I experienced as a result of my diagnosis in order to appear ‘strong’ and ‘tough’ to all my friends and family. However, I gradually learned that true strength and toughness comes from being able to express your vulnerability as openly and honestly as possible. In this latest blog on You Can Connect, myself and other young cancer survivors share further insight on what it’s Read more [...]

  • Vlog series by a young adult cancer survivor

    Steph is a 23-year-old outdoor education graduate living in Brisbane. In 2012, Steph told her cancer story as part of Redkite’s partnership with JimmyTeens. Part one: Meet Steph In this first video, Steph talks about how she decided to manage her fertility, what chemotherapy was like, how her friends and family took the news of her cancer diagnosis, and more. “I’m doing this video to help anyone out there in the same boat as me,” she says. Part two: The halfway point As Steph passes the halfway point in her treatment, she talks about how her attitude has changed, why she 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.

  • Oncology parental support Facebook groups – QLD

    In Queensland at Lady Cilento Childrens Hospital there are two parent support Facebook groups. The first one is for all parents and called ‘The Real Housewives of 11B’. The second is for fathers or similar male significant family members of an oncology child and called ‘LCCH Oncology dads’. Both are run by parents, have set guidelines and all requests to join must respond to a set group of questions. Neither allow staff, support staff or charity staff to join and neither are affiliated with Queensland Health. They are both simply support groups, run by the parents for the parents. The Read more [...]

  • What not to say to someone with cancer

    BBC 3 has created a video of things not to say to someone with cancer including: “So is it all working down there?” “How long do you have left?” “You’re so brave” The video also gives a good insight into various people’s personal experiences with cancer, and finishes with the question, “What should you say?” Cancer Advisor has a range of resources for friends and relatives of people with cancer, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • Life, Interrupted – a blog about facing cancer in your 20s

    Life, Interrupted is a New York Times blog by Suleika Jaouad about facing cancer in your 20s. Suleika was diagnosed with Leukaemia at aged 22. For two years Suleika blogged about facing cancer as a young adult. Life, Interrupted is also an Emmy-award nominated video series. Cancer Advisor has a range of content if you are a young person with cancer, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.