Teens with cancer make support video for others

Oregon

Candlelighters supports families in their cancer journey

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Emme Ek, Sierra Archer and Garrett Waggoner were diagnosed with cancer as children or teens. They met with the Luminaries teen program with Candlelighters, which supports families in their cancer journey.

They wanted to make sure that newly diagnosed kids didn’t feel alone during the pandemic so they came up with a video to support those kids with tips and words of advice.

“What helped me get through treatment was really good doctors, was french fries and my family,” Emme said.

“I was always in the hospital so I wanted something to look forward to,” Sierra said.

For her, that meant the teen events organized by the Luminaries, but when the pandemic hit those were canceled.

These 3 teens who have been fighting forms of brain cancer realized that would be especially tough on kids with a new diagnosis because Luminaries fills a void.

“It was really nice just hanging out with a group of teenagers who were going through the same thing,” Garrett said.

That’s why they created a YouTube video for newer patients, to let them know what they should expect as they start treatment.

“What got me through treatment,” Sierra said, “was I was always wearing a sweatshirt, fluffy socks like comfy, fuzzy socks.”

Garrett said he brought “this blanket right here. Very soft and heavy and gave me a lot of comfort through treatment.”

They hope this 5 minute video can provide the newer patients some hope and advice as the Luminaries start group Zoom meetings to help the teens reconnect during this time of social distancing.

“I wanted to talk to other kids and feel, you know, feel normal,” Emme said.

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