TODAY [04/02/21] is World Cancer Day – an international day to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.
A diagnosis of cancer has an impact on the whole family. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, Hywel Dda Health Charities is proud to have been able to improve the support on offer to young cancer patients, and the children of families affected by cancer, above and beyond what the NHS provides.
Thanks to generous public donations, the Hywel Dda Paediatric Oncology Outreach Service has recently purchased a ‘Chester Chest’, a lifelike prosthetic chest used for teaching.
The model is set up with several catheter access points and is used to show children with cancer how catheter lines are inserted and work, and for staff teaching.
The donation also funded the purchase of a portable blood pressure machine for use during routine checks in the community.
Kerri Rowe, a Paediatric Oncology Outreach Nurse Specialist, said the service enables children with cancer across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire to be treated locally, rather than having to travel further afield.
“We are very lucky that a lot of generous people fundraise for paediatric oncology service locally,” Kerri said.
Hywel Dda Health Charities regularly purchases Cancer Cloud Kits and Nurse Ted Books to help children who are affected by a loved one being diagnosed with cancer.
The Cancer Cloud kits are designed to help children and young people up to the age of 16 understand what cancer is, the treatments given and the side-effects they may cause.
They are an aid to having difficult conversations and help the family manage the emotional impact a cancer diagnosis can bring.
The award-winning Nurse Ted books are designed to help children understand what is happening to a family member after diagnosis.
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.
“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.
“Families can find it difficult, after a cancer diagnosis, to communicate it to children. Having Cloud Kit to help them do that is key.
“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.”
If you’d like to fundraise or make a donation to improve the experience of cancer patients and their loved ones, above and beyond what the NHS provides, please contact the Hywel Dda Health Charities fundraising team on 01267 239815 or Fundraising.HywelDda@wales.nhs.uk