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Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: CANSA launches support programme for youngsters with cancer

This project symbolises the organisation’s dedication to fostering a sense of empowerment and resilience among adolescents and young adults, enabling them to embrace their uniqueness and thrive beyond their diagnoses.

SEPTEMBER is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and CANSA has unveiled an inspiring initiative aimed at making a significant impact in the lives of mid-adolescents and young adults (AYA) between the ages of 13 and 25 who are facing the challenges of a cancer diagnosis.

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The CANSA Free2Bme programme is a beacon of hope and support tailored to meet the unique needs of young individuals on their cancer journey.

“We understand that being diagnosed with cancer as an adolescent or young adult can be challenging while facing everyday life,” says Anina Meiring, National Manager: Childhood Cancer Service at CANSA.

Navigating the uncharted waters of adolescence can be demanding. But when combined with a cancer diagnosis, it poses an even greater set of challenges.

CANSA carefully designed the CANSA Free2Bme programme to address these challenges head-on, providing a platform where AYA individuals can find a community, resources and inspiration to help them embrace their individuality and confidently overcome the hurdles that come with cancer.

With an emphasis on holistic well-being, CANSA Free2Bme offers information, activities and services that foster personal growth, emotional resilience and social connections.

From coping strategies and self-care practices to online support groups that encourage open dialogue and shared experiences, CANSA is committed to nurturing an environment where young warriors can thrive despite their circumstances.

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“In 2019, almost 800 females below the age of 25 years were diagnosed with cancer, comprising 1.8% of all female-related cancer cases. With the CANSA Free2Bme programme, we aim for adolescents and young adults to feel supported and prepared while undergoing treatment or continuing life as cancer survivors. CANSA can support young people diagnosed with cancer to cope and understand the disease, diagnoses, treatment and the challenging psychosocial experiences during treatment and beyond,” she said.

The launch of CANSA Free2Bme marks an exciting milestone for CANSA as it strengthens its mission to promote awareness, education and support for those affected by cancer.

Adolescents (teens) and young adults facing cancer, their caregivers and the professionals who treat them, can get more information about CANSA Free2Bme and CANSA’s ongoing efforts to support AYA facing cancer on the CANSA website.

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