Suzie is a Young People's CLIC Sargent Social Worker based in Bristol. Her role is to provide young people and their families and partners with emotional, practical and financial support throughout their cancer diagnosis, treatment and beyond.
Here she talks about how she supports young cancer patients:
If there are newly diagnosed patients referred to CLIC Sargent I will meet them and their family to introduce myself, and the support I can provide.
I try not to overwhelm them at this point. It's about providing a friendly face and a listening ear to try and reassure them about the treatment and the journey that lays ahead for them.
The support I provide often extends to after treatment, helping young people to re-engage with education or employment and to rebuild confidence once more. This is often very difficult time for young people and they struggle to return to 'normal life'.
Coming to terms with a diagnosis of cancer and enduring months (sometimes years) of treatment is tough. I am passionate about working with teenagers and young adults as they are at a point in thier lives where they are finding their own independence. For them to lose this when cancer strikes is just devastating and takes a lot of adjusting.
Take back control
Sadly not all of the young people I work with will be cured. On these occasions I will work to try to help them come to terms with their poor prognosis and to take back control over the time they have left.
I have supported young people to make decisions about where they would like to die, to make Wills, plan their own funeral and to complete bucket lists.
People often assume that this part of the job is very sad, but it can be extremely positive. I always try to go the extra mile and once helped a 23 year old to arrange her wedding in just three days.
I feel blessed to be able to meet and support so many wonderful young people.
CLIC Sargent makes a huge difference to people at what is otherwise an overwhelming and stressful time and I am proud to be part of the team.
To find out more about how you could make the difference of a lifetime to young people with cancer, please request a free information pack here.