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Young people from Estrie participate in cancer research – SOCIT – |  Web News Magazine |  Sherbrooke

Young people from Estrie participate in cancer research – SOCIT – | Web News Magazine | Sherbrooke

For three years, from 2021 to 2024, a group of children from Istrí, aged 12 to 14, who had the same cancer as their parents, decided to launch a research project.

A different view of the disease

With the help of researchers from the CIUSSS de l'Estrie-CHUS (CRCHUS), they developed a series of activities aimed at children aged 8 to 12 years. For example, they met young people during the afternoon organized in Lac-des-Nations and got in touch with other children, thanks to different organizations in the area. During these meetings, children had the opportunity to freely express their fears, concerns and emotions. The aim was, among other things, to allow these children to have a supportive space with other children.

This project was started entirely by young people. “As researchers, what attracted us was their different vision of this problem. The fact that for them, it was not so much 'we will talk, we will give information', it was more 'what activity will be useful?'” explains Dr. Claude Cyr, clinical researcher at CRCHUS and pediatrician at CIUSSS de l: “It surprised me, because I did not think that children who were stressed or who had a lot of anxiety would want to go and play.”

Thanks to these meetings, the young people, called trackers, were able to highlight the real needs and questions of the children. “Some children do not want to ask their parents questions or make comments about their condition so as not to hurt their feelings. Meeting other children who have been through the same situation helped them a lot,” adds Dr. Claude Cyr.

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Improve support for patients' loved ones

The results of this research, which will be published soon, will help improve the support provided to families. Furthermore, a group of peer helpers dedicated exclusively to children has been created. Please note that Rose des Vents and the Oncology Department of CIUSSS de l'Estri-CHUS are partners in this project. “I would love for the world to apply it, with the research answers we get, to be able to help better, and for adults and children to use it to help themselves better,” says Aiden Getty, a young tracker and co-researcher. .

Note that this achievement is the winner of the 2023-2024 CIUSSS de l'Estrie – CHUS Excellence Awards in the University Mission and Outreach category.

Families needing this support can write to [email protected].