Cancer Hub is helping families navigate the challenges of a cancer diagnosis

Cancer in the family brings immense challenges. Thanks to Cancer Hub, finding support isn’t one of them.

The immense challenges that come with a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Families often have to make important treatment decisions while also navigating financial pressures, accommodation and parenting arrangements.

Whether a parent, carer or child is diagnosed, every family member’s mental health and wellbeing is impacted. And finding the support your family needs can feel like another challenge.

To help families impacted by cancer through this experience, Canteen, Camp Quality and Redkite joined forces to provide Cancer Hub, a free service connecting families to community-based support.

The three organisations are working together as part of the newly formed Child and Youth Cancer Alliance to improve access to holistic support for families impacted by cancer who have children aged 0-25.

What is Cancer Hub?
Cancer Hub is a digital hub to help families impacted by cancer more easily access the practical and emotional support they need when they need it. Trained staff are on hand to identify every family member’s needs and then actively help them access whatever support they need.

With one phone call to Cancer Hub, families can access:

  • dedicated cancer navigators who can organise financial support, accommodation, or other
    services when a child or young person has cancer
  • specialist counsellors to help manage the parenting challenges cancer brings
  • professional and peer support for children and young people aged 0-25.

Cancer Hub has been designed to make it easier for people going through a cancer diagnosis and their families to connect with community-based services via a single contact point.

How Cancer Hub helped Ally’s family
When Ally Tanner was diagnosed with bowel cancer in February 2022, the whole family – including Ally’s partner Janet and their son, 9-year-old Oscar – were impacted by the challenging treatment. Ally spent time in the ICU with severe complications and continues to have ongoing health issues.

With Ally in hospital so much, Oscar, who is nonverbal and lives with Cerebral Palsy, really struggled. The family were desperate to connect with other families facing a diagnosis and to connect with each other again.

“We felt lost and googled ‘cancer support’ and the Cancer Hub came up. It was easy to read, explaining multiple options of cancer support including counselling, and it ticked many boxes for us for our needs,” says Ally.

“We registered and the navigator called and helped identify our needs, and referred us to Camp Quality, who have supported us with a retreat break, and other day opportunities.”

After being referred to Camp Quality through Cancer Hub, the Tanner family was sent away to a Family Retreat in Salamander Bay.

“We had an absolutely amazing time, beautiful weather and lots of kind, considerate and generous people came into our lives. We are so grateful for our time together there, just to be able to relax and enjoy each other’s company before the next round of treatment,” says Ally.

If your family is dealing with the challenges of a cancer diagnosis, you can access Cancer Hub online or by calling 1800 945 215. This service is free and confidential.

Cancer Hub was developed thanks to funding from the Australian Government.