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Are you looking after someone in your family who has cancer? Maybe it’s your mum, dad or grandparent? If you are under 18 and you spend time looking after someone who is ill, then you are a young carer, and our new young carers handbook is for you. It’s been written in collaboration with other young people like you who’ve cared for their parents or relatives, so it contains real experiences and honest advice.
Being a young carer can affect your life in many ways. You might have to do extra things to help your family – things that your friends might not be doing. This might mean you spending time helping with tasks around the home such as washing up and making dinner.
We understand that this is a difficult time for you, looking after your loved one and dealing with your own feelings. You may be angry, shocked or frightened. You may be asking, ‘Why has this happened to the person I love?’ and ‘Why me?’
We know it’s hard being a young carer, looking after someone close to you who has cancer. You may feel alone. You may feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders with no one to care for or support you.
But you are not alone. There are other young carers out there, and they’ve helped to write this handbook. In the book, they share their experiences of cancer with you. They talk about the emotional side of cancer, offer practical help and advice, and tell you about people you can contact for extra help or support.
The handbook is split into different chapters, so you can dip in and out when you need to. The booklet talks about:
Just remember, you are doing a great job caring for your loved one. We know you are taking a on a big responsibility, and you may feel anxious and worried about lots of things – the person you’re caring for, your school work, and your friendships. But our booklet is here to answer some of your questions.
You can order or download it here: A guide for young people looking after someone with cancer.
You might also be interested in this video, in which several young carers talk openly about their experiences:
The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.
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