At Lymphoma Action we are often asked to help support a parent, grandparent, or other family member when talking to children about a lymphoma diagnosis in the family. Telling your child that you or someone they care about has a type of cancer can be a very difficult conversation.
In response to this need, we have developed two animated films for parents or carers to watch with their primary school-aged children to help explain what a lymphoma diagnosis might mean for their family. Launched on International Animation Day, these videos are voiced by children and introduce lymphoma in a non-threatening and reassuring way. They cover what lymphoma is, the kind of treatment someone might have for lymphoma, and how a lymphoma diagnosis might affect day-to-day life. There are two versions: for Hodgkin lymphoma or high-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma and for low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
There are resources already available that explain a cancer diagnosis to children, but there are some important differences between lymphoma and other types of cancer. As well as the more general experiences associated with cancer, such as chemotherapy and hospital appointments, our new videos cover these lymphoma-specific aspects. Importantly, our video about low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma explains that, unlike other cancers, someone with lymphoma might not need treatment straightaway (known as active monitoring or watch and wait).
We hope these animations bring comfort and a sense of understanding to children coping with the news of a lymphoma diagnosis in the family. We also hope they are a useful tool to help parents and carers approach a topic that can be both emotionally difficult and medically complicated.
We have a number of other videos that may also support you with talking to children about lymphoma:
- Claire Tune, Lead Counsellor at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care, giving advice on how to approach this subject
- Kiki sharing her experience of telling her niece about her lymphoma.
With thanks to AbbVie Ltd and Gilead Sciences Ltd for part funding these videos.
In accordance with how we work with healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, they have had no influence over the content.