Meet Etta and Clay!
After her cancer diagnosis, Etta came to Clan’s Shetland centre where she has regularly met with one of our Children and Family Practitioners since 2018. Her mum tells us about Etta's story and how Clan has helped her to understand and adjust to life after treatment.
Etta was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2018 when she was five. Being from Shetland this meant we had to travel and spend a lot of time in RACH.
The team from Clan used to visit the hospital to offer treatments and a listening ear for Etta. Tina from Clan asked if we would like to join in some sessions and it was then that Etta would get her nails painted and I would get a reflexology treatment.
While we were in RACH, were invited to come to visit the Clan centre in Aberdeen. This was a safe space for Etta to run, play and enjoy the garden and also take part in arts and crafts available. We were put in touch with Lindsey, one of Clan's Children and Family Service Practitioners in Shetland.
This became invaluable while Etta was going through her treatment. She would regularly go to the Clan centre in Lerwick for a session with Lindsey which helped her process what she was going through. This service was vital, and it gave her a safe and fun place to be which also helped her understand her diagnosis in the best way for her.
When Covid struck, Clan moved it’s support online, which was difficult for Etta as she much preferred the in-person support that was previously provided.
When Lindsey left her post, we were introduced to Naomi, who was based in Aberdeen but was about to begin regular trips to Shetland to continue to provide CFS support. Etta was invited to meet Naomi when we were down for a hospital visit, so it was nice to have someone to go and talk to after. They did arts and crafts and got to know each other. Etta then decided she wanted to continue seeing Naomi when we returned to Shetland for her usual sessions at Clan Lerwick.
Now that Etta is 9 she still feels the benefits from meeting with Naomi and very much looks forward to her monthly visits to Shetland. This continues to help Etta understand and adjust to life after treatment.
Recently, Etta took home Clay, Clan’s memory muncher. She has a worry monster, so she understood it was a similar concept but about making positive memories with. She travelled all over the place with him and really enjoyed the experience filling him with memories.
Etta can struggle with inspiration to write at school, but after this task she was excited to go to school on the Monday and do her personal writing task all about her weekend with Clay. She has even requested to take him to see Little Mix next month!
Etta’s tumours are currently inactive and stable, she has an MRI every 6 months to check they are still asleep. They have to carefully measure everything to make sure there are no signs of growth.
I’m hopeful for the future, as time passes and as Etta grows she understands a bit more about her condition and what happened to her. I can’t thank Clan enough for giving her the space and support to help her with the process of understanding her condition in a fun and safe environment.
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