The Cancer Clouds are an award-winning group of toolkits created for children, or young people, who are affected by their parents being diagnosed with cancer. There are three different kits designed for three different age ranges.
Each kit contains an age-appropriate set of tools designed to help children or young people to understand what cancer is, the treatments given, and the side-effects they may cause.
There are also tools to help improve communication within the family, practical tools to help manage changes in the family’s routine, and tools that explore the emotional impact a cancer diagnosis brings.
‘The resources are diverse and robust with the ability for the child and their supporter to access different resources at different times - reflecting the journey that cancer is - with a need to understand, talk or revisit different aspects of cancer and its effects at different stages.’
– Clinical Psycolgist
Research shows that children with a parent diagnosed with cancer are at risk of developing emotional problems, such as anxiety, sadness, anger, and feelings of irrational guilt. These emotional problems are often made worse by both the child not understanding what cancer is, and poor communication between the parent and child.
Although children are a main source of concern for a parent diagnosed with cancer, we found that family-centred support is lacking in our healthcare system.
We know that negative effects caused by a parent being diagnosed with cancer are lessened by the family communicating about the disease, so we decided to develop resources to encourage and assist this.
– Caroline Leek