Dry July Foundation is proud to support Redkite's Cancer Journey Program for Young People, thanks to funds raised through Dry July 2019.
For a young person, a cancer diagnosis comes as a significant shock. Cancer treatment brings unfamiliar surroundings, lengthy stays away from home, social isolation, complex medical terminology and painful procedures. Feelings of uncertainty, fear, alienation, resentment and loss of control can overwhelm young people and their families. Life after treatment continues to be stressful as they adjust to a new normal; the physical impacts of treatment can be ongoing and there is the continued fear of relapse.
Redkite’s Community-Based Social Workers provide quality support to help people adjust to a cancer diagnosis, manage family and relationship pressures, deal with strong emotions, or share feelings and experiences in a safe, respectful space. Social workers also provide information and resources to families and young people that can help them to cope with their situation and recognise that it is not unusual to feel the way they do. Redkite Social Workers also work alongside Education and Career Consultants to help young people to build confidence and self-esteem to make decisions about their future.
A recent Deloitte study, commissioned by CanTeen Australia indicated that the total financial cost of cancer for young people, per person is around $1.3M over their lifetime, and around 40% of this cost is connected to loss in productivity (absenteeism, interrupted employment and reduced rate of returning to work).
Redkite’s Education and Career Support program aims to reintegrate young people into their education and the workforce to reduce their risk of becoming reliant on welfare and improve their mental wellbeing. Through tailored education support and guidance, young people are able to build their best possible futures. The long-term impact is as follows:
• Enable them to get back on track with work, study or training that has been interrupted by cancer treatment
• Help them to maintain a sense of normality and keep up with their peers and friends educationally, developmentally and socially during cancer treatment
• Increase their self-esteem and confidence, allay their fears and empower them to build the best possible future for themselves after their cancer treatment ends
• Reduce the risk of them not completing their education or being unable to find employment and becoming welfare dependent
Reference: CanTeen Australia (2017), The economic cost of cancer in adolescents and young adults.