‘People would ask if I was okay over and over again. They would treat me differently and would over-sympathise. I’ve also had strange conversations with people where I know they want to ask about it, but they’re too scared to. It’s kind of like the elephant in the room.’
Kayla Laisby says she felt alone when her dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer, because many of those close to her didn’t know how to offer their support.
The 16-year-old from Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria now wants to help others understand how to approach the subject with their family or friends.
Her story was broadcast on ITV News Lookaround in August 2015.
‘My dad has adenoid cystic carcinoma which affects the main nerves in his face,’ explains Kayla.
‘It’s a really rare form of cancer and treatment is difficult. I was 14-years-old when my dad was diagnosed.
‘It tested my friendships and relationships over the years because of the way each individual dealt with it, or dealt with me.’
Kayla hopes her broadcast will encourage young people to discuss the topic openly and without fear.
Helen Adams, Senior Nurse at St Mary’s Hospice, also appears in the film in support of Kayla’s campaign.
‘It can be very difficult for those who are not affected by the illness,’ Helen says.
‘They can feel worried about saying the wrong thing.
‘Listening is the key thing to do.’
Kayla adds: 'I hope me speaking out about this will help prevent other people from feeling like I did.
'I needed somebody to help me back up again. I hope I can help achieve this for other people.'
You can watch Kayla’s TV story at the top of this page.
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A group from Wrexham want to help others their age recognise
the symptoms of cancer. Watch their TV film.