What We Do At The Warwick Cancer Foundation
About The Warwick Cancer Foundation
The Warwick Cancer Foundation is the first non-profit organisation in Australia focused on supporting adults under 40 during their cancer treatment. The foundation also supports carers of those currently in treatment and survivors aged under 40.
Why young adults with cancer?
Young adults are the fastest growing demographic among over 10 million new cancer diagnoses each year worldwide. While there are many cancer related organisations in existence today for children and older adults, there are none that focus on meeting the needs of young adults past the age of 25.
Young adults with cancer can experience a unique set of issues and challenges:
• Feelings of anger, panic, denial, guilt, uncertainty, shock and fear
• Feelings of isolation and disconnection from family and friends
• Fear of mortality
• Emotional distress
• Loss of independence
• Financial pressure and uncertainty- many young adults do not have sufficient health or life insurance to cover expenses and time away from work
• Fertility Preservation
• Intimacy and Relationship changes
What we do
The Warwick Cancer Foundation’s programs and services have been developed under psychosocial guidelines to address key issues faced by young adults with cancer.
• Peer to peer support programs aim to reduce isolation, destigmatise cancer and normalise side effects of cancer treatment
• Social media platforms provide a safe environment to communicate feelings of depression, anxiety and fears related to cancer. Many young adults with cancer are unable to voice their fears to loved ones and friends for fear of `burdening’ them
• Provide a safe environment to connect with others who are currently in treatment without fear of judgement of physical appearance
• Promote psychosocial support to assist in coping skills for different stages of cancer and survivorship
• Provide age appropriate information and referral
• Awareness campaigns to promote prevention of cancers in young adults
We provide individualised support and referral pathways that are relevant and specific to the personal needs of young adults with cancer. We recognise the feelings of fatigue, frustration and vulnerability many people with cancer experience during and post treatment. This service allows young adults to receive a collated summary of support services and information appropriate to their circumstance. The process of providing meaningful information supports and empowers young adults to gain control of their cancer treatment.
Mates in my Shoes
The ‘Mates in my Shoes’ program connects young adults with cancer, survivors and caregivers through closed Facebook groups and monthly face to face catch ups. Due to high demand, this program has extended to include support for carers and survivors.
This program gives members the opportunity to speak with someone who can relate and empathise with their current situation, often minimising feelings of isolation and decreasing psychosocial distress.
Our ‘Wellness Program’ gives young people with cancer the opportunity to receive a complimentary 3 day and 2 night mid -week escape with a loved one. This program allows many participants the opportunity to reconnect with their loved one and a chance to relax. Participants have found this program beneficial in providing a space for reflection and assistance in coping and moving forward with their treatment. Other participants take this opportunity to mark a milestone in their cancer treatment.