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Life after childhood cancer

Dr Maru BarreraAs someone who has so generously supported the Canadian Cancer Society’s (CCS) work, you understand that cancer is one of the most difficult things any child can face. Yet, life after cancer can mark the beginning of a new journey with its own set of challenges.

About 2 in every 3 childhood cancer survivors experience ongoing side effects long past remission. These can include cognitive, physical, emotional and social difficulties that can affect children well into their adolescence and adulthood.

But, with your support, researchers are working to change that statistic with groundbreaking research to help childhood cancer survivors minimize long-term side effects.

“A cancer diagnosis is devastating for young children and their families, especially since the psychological effects can last long after treatments end," says Dr Maru Barrera. "Thanks to funding from the Canadian Cancer Society, I was able to test an intervention program to improve social skills in childhood brain tumour survivors."

Dr Barrera and her team created a group-based socialization program to help teach vital skills that are critical to healthy development – like problem-solving, positive social interaction, relationship-building, cooperation, conflict resolution and empathy.

"The skills learned in this program allowed these kids and teens to connect better with their peers and socially integrate into their daily lives in the community," explains Dr Barrera. “Programs like these are essential to help survivors live healthier and happier lives.”

Thank you for helping childhood cancer survivors build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve their quality of life after cancer.