Megan is a trained counsellor with experience of and a passion for counselling young people who have cancer and their families. Her career history includes working for ten years at the UK’s largest cancer charity for children, CLIC Sargent. It was during her time at CLIC Sargent that she worked with the founder of World Child Cancer, Geoff Thaxter. Geoff gave Megan the encouragement to pursue counselling training and he supported her throughout, firmly establishing her link with World Child Cancer.
In November 2015, Megan was able to devote a week of her time to volunteering with World Child Cancer in Ghana along with a group of healthcare specialists from the UK. She visited both Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kusamai and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. Megan was able to deliver several workshop sessions for local healthcare staff which sought to improve their counselling skills and ability to cope with the emotional stress that can be a result of working with children with cancer. She was overwhelmed with the level of engagement from the local staff and noted that the passion and empathy she saw during a role play session was incredibly positive.
Megan was also able to deliver a structured play session with some of the older children at the Oncology Outpatients Centre in the Teaching Hospital in Accra. An enormous number of children and their families turned up to take part in this session but Megan was able to focus on how the children were feeling with emotions exercises and felt that the results were powerful.
There seem to be very few, if any, charities that do what World Child Cancer does. People should support them. Now that I have seen how World Child Cancer operates I am really impressed with the impact they make
Megan values the experience she had in Ghana – her only regret is that she did not take more haribo with her to give to the children! Two issues really struck Megan while she was volunteering. The first was the amount of children who arrive with very advanced cancer, often having been misdiagnosed a number of times. The second was the immense financial burden that families of the children face and the impact this has on their lives. The visit had an emotional impact on Megan and reminded her how lucky we are in the UK.
Megan loved her experience so much that she decided to go back to Ghana. She is currently volunteering with the World Child Cancer team at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for 6 months to focus on the psychological challenges faced by patients, families and staff.