Childhood survivorship program in the works for Amarillo
The Cancer Survivorship Center located at 4514 Cornell Street in Amarillo
10-year-old Camryn Smith, who is finished with her Leukemia treatment. Although it's been a few years since she finished, her family is looking forward to the new CSC program
Julie Smith, Camryn's mom. She says a Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program is important and much need in the region
Ryan Parnell, Director of the Cancer Survivorship Center in Amarillo. He hopes to have the new Childhood Program up and running by the beginning of next year
AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -
Young cancer survivors have already fought the battle of their lives, but moving on can also be a challenge. That's why the Cancer Survivorship Center is creating a new program to ease the transition.
"It doesn't take much to shift back to those days when she was first diagnosed. I mean, as a mom I always worry about that," said Julie Smith, mother of 10-year-old Camryn.
Camryn was 2 1/2-years-old when she was diagnosed with Leukemia.
"I can honestly say, we couldn't even find our car in the parking lot that night," said Smith. "There's nothing more sinking in your gut than not being able to help your own child."
Now, several years later, Camryn has finished her treatment, but emotional scars remain for her entire family.
"Her twin sister has a form of generalized anxiety disorder from watching Camryn be sick and it's because they're so close,"said Smith. "I think the whole family suffered from that."
It's families just like Smiths that prompted the Cancer Survivorship Center to create a new program that helps children and their families carry on with their lives after battling cancer.
"We're going to begin moving into a childhood program that will hopefully be able to address needs for birth to 18-year-old, which is totally different from what adults need," said Director of the Cancer Survivorship Center, Ryan Parnell.
Thursday evening, several families came to the facility to discuss and determine the needs for youth cancer survivors. The new program will focus on health and wellness, dietary plans, address the worry of cancer returning, and offer guidance to the whole family.
"We excited about the challenge and excited about learning exactly what residents of our region need," said Parnell.
Which is something Smith and her family are looking forward to.
"When you finish, everybody thinks you're done with treatment and everything should go back to normal but it doesn't," said Smith. "We're just so excited to get this started because there is such a need for families that not only in it, but a year out, two years out, six years out. We're in need of something right now. "
The Cancer Survivorship Center program are free and funded through 24 Hours in the Canyon. Parnell is hoping to have the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program up and running by the beginning of next year.