Did you see Matthew and Louisa on BBC Children in Need?

Friday 13 November 2020

The lovely Matthew and his daughter Louisa were featured on BBC Children in Need on Friday 13 November 2020. Their film shows how important the support we provide for families is when a parent is facing an advanced cancer diagnosis.

In their film we hear how Maggie’s Newcastle supported Linsey though her diagnosis and then her husband Matthew and their six-year-old daughter Louisa, through the last weeks of her life and death earlier this year. 

A cancer diagnosis can have a profound effect on young children. Parents can struggle to explain what cancer means to their child, and the child sensing something is wrong, can become anxious and distressed. With active imaginations, children can imagine the worst. 

Thanks to vital funding from Children in Need, we’re able to offer essential support to families through the most difficult of times. This support includes one-to-one sessions with our Cancer Support Specialists and Psychologists and a unique series of Kids’ Teen and Family days. 

At Maggie’s, Linsey found support in a group for young women with advanced breast cancer and got advice on how best to talk to her daughter Louisa about what was happening.  

In the last few weeks of Linsey’s life Louisa wasn’t able to visit her on the wards because of coronavirus. Karen, Centre Head at Maggie’s Newcastle, opened the centre on several occasions so let the family spend some time together in a safe environment. 

Matthew says the best of Linsey’s final days were those days at Maggie’s.   

Maggie’s was a bit of light in the dark.



What happens at a Kids’ Day? 

Our Kids and Teen Days are for children and teenagers with a parent, family member or carer who has cancer. 

We aim to help young people understand a bit more about cancer and to provide an opportunity to explore and make sense of the feelings they may have as they live with cancer in their family. 

The day begins with a visit the hospital to see how a CT scan works, how radiotherapy and chemotherapy is given, and a chance to meet the healthcare team. 

An art and craft session gives young people the chance to explore feelings and thoughts about the day’s events, and about what’s going on within their families. 

It all helps them to understand what might be going on during their parent’s treatment and makes the hospital seem much less scary. 

Family support during coronavirus 

Whilst our regular Kids’, Teen and Family Days can’t happen right now, we can support families remotely. 

We are here on the phone, over email and some of our centres are planning virtual Kids’ Days and running support groups for young people through Zoom. 

Get in touch with your nearest centre to find out what support is available to you. 

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