Support for teens when a parent has cancer

Members of Teens Support Group recently took part in an art class.

The teenage years can be hard on young people, as they grapple with trying to find their place in the world with all its complexities.

Then add the fear and stress when a parent is diagnosed with cancer, and you have the situation that CANSA social worker Abeda Steenkamp recognised and decided to address the need by forming a support group for these teenagers.

Abeda is a breast cancer survivor herself and is based in Cape Town. She’d like you to meet some of the teens who belong to her support group:

Storme Julia is 14 years old and is ‘there’ for her Aunt Venecia.

Courtney is 16 and the eldest of five siblings. “My mommy is 36 and was diagnosed with stage three cancer. My daddy is also really sick.”

Seventeen year old Mingha’s mother has had a double mastectomy and is a year out of treatment.

Rodiefa tells how when her mom became ill with cancer three years ago it completely changed both her life and her sister’s. The worst was last year when Rodiefa was in matric.

And then there was this message from a phone call . . .

When my mother was diagnosed with stage four metastatic breast cancer, my whole world came crumbling down. It was like losing part of myself.

I’m scared to lose her because then I’ll have to face everything and everyone alone. We’re trying to make the most of our time together.❤️

Thank you for understanding, caring and helping to support these young people, Abeda. And for showing another way in which CANSA can help.