We would like to introduce you to Julia Hamer. Julia will be delivering the family perspective at our upcoming Palliative Care in Teenagers and Young Adults study day on Thursday 8 October 2020. Here is a bit more about her. 

Why did you come into the field? 

Not deliberately that’s for sure! 

My youngest daughter Holly was treated at the teenage and young adult service (TYA) from December 2013 until her death in May 2018. We experienced so many different services and received so much support from the unit and the hospital over that time, and I now do voluntary work at The Christie (in particular with the enhanced supportive care team) and help out charities where I can (Sam’s Gift, for example) to try to repay all that help. 

Why do you think cancer education is important? 

As a health professional myself, I realised that the young people receiving cancer care at TYA may often not be able or want to articulate where they think that their care was done well, and not so well. Our children with cancer go through experiences that are unique, and they have families that go through a journey that most other people can only start to imagine, including health professionals.

Educating the staff in cancer centres such as TYA is essential to help them understand and prepare their own techniques to assist young people and their families get through what is probably the most difficult situation they will ever experience. 

Why should people take part in this study day?

Centres like TYA are so important in caring for young people like my daughter, providing them with the appropriate environment that they need. The education provided on this day will prepare staff for what a job may be like on the unit or give them ideas to take back to their own departments. My perspective as close family of a patient will highlight the differences in care that young people and their relations might need. 

What are you looking forward to most about the day?

I feel I have a lot to share about Holly’s journey that others can learn from, and to be honest, I just love any excuse to talk about her for a bit!

If you want to hear more from Julia, get tickets to our TYA study day now.