World Cancer Day: Young cancer patients in Wales

Children with cancer learn about cancer with the help of creative tools through Welsh charity organisation.

Young cancer patients by National Cancer Institute

A diagnosis of cancer has an impact on the whole family, especially if it’s a young patient. They desire to be treated like a normal child but are looked at as patients instead.

For World Cancer Day, Hywel Dda Health Charities purchased a few products with the donations from the public to help these families educate themselves. 

Kerri Rowe, a Paediatric Oncology Outreach Nurse Specialist said, “We are very lucky that a lot of generous people fundraise for paediatric oncology service locally.”

The Chester Chest prosthetic kit that helps children with cancer learn about catheter lines

They purchased Cancer Cloud Kits, Nurse Ted books and Chester Chest, a lifelike prosthetic chest used to show children with cancer how catheter line are inserted and how they work.

The Cancer Cloud Kit is an effective way to teach the children what cancer is, what treatments are given and the side effects they may cause.

And the award-winning Nurse Ted books have been resourceful since 2015. They answer questions and thoughts about cancer to help families through their tough times.

Sarah Russell-Saw, Macmillan Information and Support Co-ordinator at the health board, said, “Children may have lots of questions during such a difficult time. In the Nurse Ted books you will find lots of information and stories of children who are going through similarly difficult times.”

Sarah Russell-Saw holding the Nurse Ted books in support of it

“Parents tell us that they find these books very helpful and it’s really nice to have something to provide for families to give them extra support.”

The Hedgehog cloud kit in particular has a lot of fun activities, toys and games through which kids learn about cancer in creative ways. 

They have colouring books, puzzles, superhero capes and stories to help them feel more like a child and less of a patient. 

Children with cancer are treated like patients in any social situation and it is always a difficult conversation to be had within a family.

A sample of what the Hedgehog cloud kit looks like

As Sarah Russel-Saw said, “A number of parents have said how vital it’s been. The kit gives ongoing support on helping children and young people with thoughts and worries.”

Which is why it is important to teach the children use these aids, prepare them for what’s about to come and manage the emotional impact it can cause on everyone.