The film, narrated by actor and comedian Jack Whitehall, will follow 11 young people, showing what it’s like to be diagnosed with cancer as a teenager, their treatment, and the unique issues they face, in their own words. The documentary will also highlight the fantastic work done by charities like CLIC Sargent and the NHS.
Part of the filming took place at Sam’s House, in Bristol, one of CLIC Sargent’s 10 Homes from Home around the UK. These Home from Homes are located near eight principal treatment centres, where families can stay for free during their child’s cancer treatment.
The film follows Yazz, 16, from Plymouth, whose family stayed at Sam’s House, to spend more time together and avoid often debilitating travel and accommodation costs.
Yazz said: “My family stayed at Sam’s House which meant I could see them every week.
"Without Sam’s House, there’s no way they could afford to stay there every weekend. It was great because Mum had a place to go if she was sick of the hospital too."
“Plymouth is a long way away but with Sam’s House they could stay for a while. Even if I was having a rubbish week, I had something to look forward to seeing them on the weekends.”
Yazz and her family also received support from Suzie, a CLIC Sargent social worker based in Bristol, who provides support to many young people with cancer and is also featured in the documentary.
CLIC Sargent has around 200 health and social care professionals, including social workers, nurses and play specialists, who work in hospitals around the UK.
CLIC Sargent Social Workers like Suzie offer families practical, emotional and financial support from when the doctor says its cancer. They can answer questions that teenagers and their families may have, put them in touch with other sources of support, they can help by talking to schools about how they can continue learning and help young people apply for a CLIC Sargent grant – a one-off standard grant of £170 and help with accessing other financial support.
Suzie said: “I can’t thank the BBC Horizon team enough for sharing the stories of the amazing young people CLIC Sargent supports.
"It’s so important to raise awareness of the all the issues they face not just around their health."
"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. I hope that everyone watches the documentary and is inspired to support our work."
BBC Horizon’s 'Teenagers vs Cancer – A User’s Guide' will be shown on Tuesday 26 June on BBC 2 at 9.30pm. Watch the trailer on the BBC website.