Tuesday 21st March 2017

Northern Ireland

"Northern Ireland is a beautiful country and a lot of the time we don’t appreciate what we have on our door step. I'm an Education and Awareness Executive covering the whole of Northern Ireland. My role is to deliver Teenage Cancer Trust’s Understanding Cancer presentation and our Mates Matter programme in all post primary schools in my area." 

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"I love driving to all the different towns and villages and meeting the young people who live there; each town is completely different from the next and the young people are always so interesting. They have lots of stories and the craic in schools is great. Even though we are delivering an important message, there is still time to have fun with the young people in almost every school I visit.

  • The Understanding Cancer presentation can break down fears about cancer and spreads awareness of cancer warning signs; ultimately leading to earlier diagnoses. It can also help young people to understand the behaviours and lifestyle choices that increase the risk of getting cancer.
  • The Mates Matter programme enables us to be the voice of young people diagnosed with cancer in post primary schools. Through this programme we can help the peers and year group of a young person who has been diagnosed with cancer have a better understanding of cancer, its treatment or any other issue that young person who has been diagnosed may want us to address.

When I was growing up and in school we never learned about cancer; people generally never even said the word ‘cancer’. I always remember older people calling it the “Big C” and feeling like if you said the word cancer you were doing something wrong.

 

This stigma or fear that surrounds cancer makes young people less aware of the disease and its signs and symptoms. I feel this is why Teenage Cancer Trust’s school education programme is so important – we want the next generation to be confident to say the word 'cancer'. If we can get young people talking about cancer and being more aware of the warning signs, it improves the chances of diagnosing cancer early and a better outcome."

 

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