In remembering all of this, I can’t help but think that, in order for greater strides to be made in providing young patients with emotional and social support, the world must be made aware of the unique challenges teens face during cancer treatment. The world must be provided with a look into the bubble in which we, as patients and survivors, must live.
Therefore, the purpose of my post is to encourage you, as a teen cancer patient or survivor, to share your story and help to make the world of pediatric cancer a little bit more understood by those who have not been exposed to it. While wishing for a cure is always great, I feel like that is still farther off. I simply wish for a more tangible goal: a world in which people can stop pitying, start to take action to help pediatric cancer patients, and inspire all patients to continue their fight. I think improving quality of life during treatment is equally as important as finding a cure.
There are an increasing number of amazing organizations out there helping to support a better quality of life for young people with cancer and their families. Organizations like the National Children's Cancer Society and Cool Kids Campaign have done amazing work in developing new programs to help patients and families. Their work is crucial to improving the quality of life of patients and survivors. Equally important, they have begun to offer support for family health by addressing broader family issues for siblings and parents as well. Through support groups, online resources, family events, and tutoring programs, these kinds of organizations can help these young cancer patients to not only survive, but thrive.
However, in order to make the world aware of these incredible organizations, the world must be aware of the incredible lives of the patients and families involved. So, I encourage you, as patients and survivors, to share your story whenever you can and bring awareness to the isolated life of a pediatric cancer patient. In turn, you can help spread hope, bringing so much more positivity into the world of pediatric cancer.