do you operate in Gibraltar. My friend has been diagnosed with lung cancer and they are struggling to know how to tell their children?

  • Hello Vmh,

    Thank you for contacting the Macmillan Online Community. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend in Gibraltar. This sound like a very difficult time for them, and telling the children such news is an incredibly hard conversation to have.

    While we don’t have any centres there, as we are a UK based charity, they would still be welcome to get in touch with us for support. They can call from overseas on 0207 091 2230, or use our online chat, which just requires an email address to access. Both are open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm UK time.

    You might also like to pass on our booklet on talking to children – you can view this online here. This goes into a lot more depth about having those initial conversations as well as supporting children and young people through the next phases whether this is treatment or otherwise.

    It may be worth reassuring them of the fact that they know their children best, and therefore will be acting with their best interests at hard. As much as they will want to protect them from the upset, it’s almost impossible to avoid in these circumstances, due to the nature of the situation. This isn’t their fault, and it’s natural that following this news, children may be upset or scared or confused. We would say that it’s best to be as honest as is possible and appropriate, so that the children know they are being trusted and that nothing is being hidden from them, and to try to reduce worry and anxiety.

    Vmh, do encourage your friend to get in touch by whichever method is most convenient and we will do our best to help them to prepare for this, and also support them with their own emotions around the diagnosis.

    It’s good of you to reach out on their behalf, and a cancer diagnosis can have such an impact on friends and family too – I wonder how you are coping with this just now, yourself?

    Take care,

    Ruth, Information and Support Adviser

    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.