Caitlin is a lively and outgoing 14-year-old. Her mum describes her as ‘a ray of sunshine!’ She really enjoys crocheting, especially whilst watching her favourite TV show ‘Friends’!

 

When Caitlin was 13, she was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma cancer. The family first noticed something was wrong when Caitlin had large lumps in her throat, initially thought to be caused by tonsillitis and mumps.

Personally, I know my own daughter so I knew I had to keep fighting for the right diagnosis. Something inside told me this wasn’t just ‘tonsillitis’ so I kept fighting for answers.

“We received the phone call while going about our weekly shop in a supermarket. We couldn’t believe that we were being told our daughter had stage 4 cancer over the phone”

After the call, Caitlin’s family was hit with disbelief and sorrow. They drove home, carrying a new heavy burden and prepared to sit down with Caitlin and tell her the news. It came as a huge shock to the family, but they were all supportive.

For most families, working full-time when your child is diagnosed with cancer becomes incredibly difficult.
“We found it incredibly hard to both work full-time, we both just wanted to hold Caitlin and not let her go”

The family struggled to spend time with their youngest daughter, Amber, who didn’t understand why they were crying all the time. All the hospital appointments meant Caitlin grew distant with her friends.

 

What difference did PASIC make?

PASIC were and still are such a great relief to the family

“Toria was and still is always there to send a message of support to us and reaches out constantly to see how we all are. “The family have since enjoyed family together at PASIC parties. PASIC provided food vouchers so Caitlin could spend quality time with her friends having a pizza and ice cream movie night! Seeing Caitlin so happy with her friends whilst they have a movie night not only lifts her spirits, but it lifts ours too.”

What would you say to other families?

It’s extremely hard at the start as I felt like I was ‘giving in’ if I reached out to ask for help but sometimes you need that little lift to help you to keep going.

There is a lot of support and love out there, talking to other families at PASIC events helped me find those people.