Feb. 3, 2021
Written by Jen and Nic, two mums determined to help to take the 'scary' out of Cancer and to support others navigating some of the hardest conversations with small humans in a safe, supportive and creative way.
As we mark World Cancer Day, we find ourselves thinking of all those that have been affected by cancer in someway, to be honest who hasn't? With the odds now stacked at one in two, if you haven't been directly affected, we would be willing to bet you know someone who has. We would also assume that in facing a family member or friend’s diagnosis you found times when you were unsure what to say and how to help.
Many children arrive to school classrooms with little experience of cancer and have a tendency to create their own versions of what cancer is, why it happens and why their parent has it. We didn’t want our children to be in a similar situation so therefore we created the Little C Club for the purpose of being used in schools, hospitals and at home with parents to empower and support learning. A collection of flash cards that works through the A-Z of Cancer, not specific to any type of cancer so that we are able to support as many people as possible.
We recently launched the Little C Club to help parents have those open and honest conversations about cancer with their children. Ultimately none of us want to have these unenviable conversations but unfortunately this is the reality for many parents all around the world, ourselves included.
We are both living with an incurable cancer diagnosis, stage 4 breast cancer. We met at an event specifically for younger women with secondary cancer and instantly clicked, and what is even better is that our children have also very quickly bonded allowing us to enjoy lots of adventures together. Using a set of flash cards designed and created by us, we wanted to not only help our own children gain an understanding of our individual diagnosis' but also help many other families break down those barriers and open up the conversation about cancer.
Our designs are all based on our own lived experiences of parenting with cancer, combined with our professional knowledge as a teacher and a nurse. Jen has been working in education for over 15 years and has seen the impact a cancer diagnosis can have on children emotionally and academically within the classroom and see’s the potential for the cards being used in circle time, small group intervention and 1:1 sessions with children affected by cancer.
Nicola as a nurse has witnessed first hand the parents leaving hospital after a diagnosis with limited resources and information to take home and digest.
We believe taking an honest, age appropriate approach to sharing information will not only help children process what is happening to their parent but also empower children to advocate for their own bodies, learning both physical and emotional self awareness from a young age.
Our goal is to 'take some of the scary away from that big C' and raise confident, resilient and empowered children. We have worked alongside a number of charities and professionals who we aim to develop further links with as we design and develop more products in this important range of resources. Our cards not only give information and illustrations to help children visualize the diagnosis but offer some comfort in being a familiar learning resource. Children work with flash cards for memory recall and therefore the letters, drawings, activities and talk cards help those conversations happen more frequently and with a sense of ease. We hope that a little piece of our journey helps others to navigate uncertain times ahead.
Jen & Nic
Jen, @thrivingmummyoftwo - Mummy to Eliza and Albie, Wife to Richard, Secondary School Teacher, Secondary Breast Cancer
Nic,@nicandthebigc - Mummy to Dylan and Poppy, Wife to Matt, NHS Nurse, Secondary Breast Cancer
2Simple has 10 sets of cards to donate. If you are a school that would benefit from receiving a pack to help support children who may be affected by a cancer diagnosis then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.