Our Paediatric Lead Advanced Nurse Practitioner Sarah Flood, shares how we do our best to support our children with cancer, and provide them with a support network, tailored and specialised care, and a helping hand when times get tough for our patients and their families.

Tell me about your team and what you do to help children with cancer?
My team is responsible for the care of all paediatric oncology patients at SGH.  We have completed master’s level training to be able to provide excellent clinical and holistic care to our patients.  We try to make the children’s journey the best we can, linked with their primary treatment centre.  We try to have a relationship with the whole family to provide a support network through a very difficult time.

Why is children’s cancer awareness month important to you and your team?
Many people don’t understand paediatric oncology – what it means to many families, and what they have to go through for treatment.  Childhood cancer is very different to adult cancer, and we should be promoting awareness so that parents can feel confident in seeking help if they feel their child is unwell.  Research needs to be highlighted and promoted to ensure new and existing treatments can be developed and improve future outcomes.  Many people feel it is just very sad and can be frightened to get involved – but children are awesome people who have so much to give, and we have so much to learn from them!  Children’s cancer awareness month allows us to show the world that this is a very real way of life for many families, and how we can support them and fight for better, research-led care in the future.

What do you enjoy most about working within our children’s cancer team?
There are never any two days that are the same!!  The children are some of my favourite teachers throughout my life and career.  We can learn so much from them.  You can be having a particularly bad day, and just one smile, or high five from a child who has been very, very poorly can literally make your entire day/week/month!  Managing to get children home, to be with their families and beloved pets, is also one of the best things I think we can achieve.