Francesca Pinzone Now What...? Dealing With Your Parent's Cancer Interview
Youth cancer charity CanTeen reaches out to the 15,000 Australians aged 12-24 years who have a parent diagnosed with cancer each year.
For these young people, a parent's cancer can cause great disruption to routines and relationships and can contribute to immense feelings of anxiety and isolation. CanTeen's practical FREE resource book Now What...? Dealing with your parent's cancer may be the only help they receive during this difficult time. It provides age-appropriate information, practical tips and advice across a whole range of areas.
This May, Now What...? Dealing with your parent's cancer celebrates its third birthday. Since its release, almost 12,000 FREE copies of the book have been distributed as a vital resource to help young people navigate this challenging experience."When mum first told us she had cancer, I was a huge emotional wreck. This book has some very useful information, is very helpful and gives some great advice. It actually tells you everything about the cancer, and ways to cope with it. There are even recipes, which came in very handy when mum was sick. My mum is in remission now but if I had it earlier, it would have been a huge help!"
- Corey, 14 "After losing a parent to cancer, I sheltered myself away from the world and didn't want to deal with anything or anyone... I thought I would check it out and see what I could gain from it. I am so glad I did! It is an easy-to-read compact resource that covers every possible area needed to help deal with your parent's cancer journey... I would tell every young person living with their parent's cancer, or anyone who knows one, to grab a copy!"
- Natalie, 20
The resource was developed in response to extensive research CanTeen conducted into the needs of young people who have a parent with cancer. It is peer reviewed and widely endorsed by health and educational professionals.
Now What...? Dealing with your parent's cancer is available FREE of charge as a hard copy book or downloadable PDF from www.nowwhat.org.au
or by calling 1800 669 942.
"No matter how much you hoped it wouldn't, life changed once your parent was diagnosed with cancer. Living with a parent who has cancer can affect your life in almost every way. Often the focus is on how cancer affects your feelings, but it can also mess with everyday life: routines change, it's not always easy to plan for things, people act weird and nothing seems certain anymore". (Extract from Now what...? Dealing with your parent's cancer; p. 15)CanTeen
is the Australian Organisation for Young People Living with Cancer. CanTeen's Members are young people (12-24 year-olds) living with cancer, including cancer patients, brothers or sisters of cancer patients and young people with a parent or primary care giver with cancer or has died from cancer. CanTeen provides Members with a place where they can simply be young people - away from the adult dominated environment of cancer hospitals and treatment regimes. Through its camps and programs, CanTeen encourages its Members to get involved, make friends and have fun! In the words of our Members, the most effective form of support is from other young people in a similar situation - who have "been there, done that".
For more information on CanTeen please visit www.canteen.org.au
Interview with Francesca Pinzone
Francesca Pinzone is the Services and Policy Team Manager for Canteen.Question:
Why was it important for Canteen to create the book: Now What...? Dealing With Your Parent's Cancer?Francesca Pinzone
: CanTeen undertook research in 2006 that showed that young people with a parent with cancer needed information about their parent's cancer that was current and relevant for their age. Young people who have a parent with cancer are at an increased risk of depression and anxiety due to their situation and so CanTeen felt that by providing information that was very comprehensive, young people would be empowered by the knowledge and gain a greater understanding to be able to better cope with what they are going through.Question:
Why has Canteen broken down the Now What...? Dealing With Your Parent's Cancer book into sections?Francesca Pinzone
: Now What is broken into 5 sections - head stuff, heart stuff, practical stuff, med stuff and handy stuff. The reason we did this was so that people didn't have to read it from cover to cover - they could just dip into the sections they needed when they needed them. It also allowed us to include lots very important information without it being overwhelming. Our handy stuff section is particularly useful as it contains tear-off cards that people can give to their friends and family to help them understand what they are going through. Question:
Now What...? Dealing with your parent's cancer has just celebrated its third birthday - what success have you seen over the past three years?Francesca Pinzone
: Over the past 3 years we have distributed over 8000 copies of Now What to young people with a parent with cancer. We have had an overwhelming response from young people and health professionals alike about the usefulness and relevance of the book. Through the success of this book, we have developed 4 other resources for young people. These include:
? Dealing with your siblings cancer
Now What ..? Living with the death of your parent, brother or sister from cancer
Now What..? A young persons guide to dealing with cancerQuestion:
How can 12-24 year-olds get a copy of Now What...? Dealing With Your Parent's Cancer?Francesca Pinzone
: Now What..? Dealing with your parents cancer is free of charge and is available at www.nowwhat.org.au/about/resources/about-now-what-resourcesQuestion:
Could you talk about Canteen and what it does for the community?Francesca Pinzone
: CanTeen is the Australian organisation for young people living with cancer. The organisation focuses on the psychosocial needs of 12 to 24 year olds who are cancer patients, and siblings and offspring of those living with or who have died from cancer. CanTeen provides a broad variety of programs and services to help young people overcome the emotional, physical and practical issues of living with cancer. CanTeen's aim is that all young people living with cancer experience optimal wellbeing and resilience throughout their cancer journey.
CanTeen delivers over 250 psychosocial support programs across Australia each year. These programs range in duration and focus. For example, Recreation Day Programs provide some time-out from a cancer journey and an opportunity to build confidence, where as Good Grief programs focus on dealing with grief through learning coping strategies and group counselling sessions.
CanTeen has produced a range of new educational resources which teach young people about the issues they are likely to face and provide practical information and advice to help them navigate their cancer journey. The books are also used by health and education professionals, so that they can better understand the issues and provide advice more easily.
In 2010, a new online service www.nowwhat.org.au
was launched to help CanTeen extend its reach, provide a reliable source of age-appropriate information for young people living with cancer and to provide a platform for young people to share their experiences and access professional advice.
In addition CanTeen provides a counselling service, carries out research into the needs of young people living with cancer and advocates for better health services. CanTeen's advocacy work has led to the development of new cancer facilities and services for young cancer patients aged 16-30 across Australia. These will be the first of their kind and will be rolled out nationally by CanTeen over the next 3 years with the support of the Federal Government.
Interview by Brooke Hunter