Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Resilience is the key to breaking through cancer:

Finding a cure is the ultimate goal, but resilience is the key to dealing with a cancer diagnosis.
By Motherpedia
Date: September 08 2014
Editor Rating:

Every day, two families are given the devastating news that their child (aged up to 13 years) has cancer. By the end of the year, the amount of children living with cancer in Australia would fill Sydney Opera House.

But according to Simon Rountree, Chief Executive of children’s cancer charity Camp Quality, the “obsession” with finding a cure for cancer is “only half of the battle.” 

“Medical cancer breakthroughs are crucial. But, with still no cure, the biggest breakthrough lies within us all. It’s called resilience.”

“In my 14 years as Chief Executive of Camp Quality, this is the one word that defines what we do for families who have a child with cancer.

"In my job, I meet many families living through a total nightmare. Some say that, until their child was diagnosed, they didn’t even realise kids could get cancer. Three quarters of children diagnosed with cancer will survive but, for families living through that uncertain journey now, research and cures can feel out of reach. What they urgently need to just face the next day is resilience – and the mental tools that help with that. Medicine and technology are only half the battle.”

“When times seem tough, comparing our struggles to those of a kid with cancer and seeing how they still summon the energy to laugh, is the most poignant lesson of all.”

This is a view supported by Tristan Knowles OAM, a Paralympics Gold Medal winner in basketball (pictured below). Tristan was diagnosed with cancer aged 9 and relapsed aged 12, when his leg was amputated.

“The power of the mind is absolutely amazing. I was convinced I’d beat cancer a second time. Nothing was going to stop me. I think my positive outlook – which Camp Quality helped me with - was crucial in my survival," Tristan said.

In February this year, the World Health Organisation reported that cancer is the biggest killer in Australia, overtaking heart disease. It is the biggest killer of children from disease in Australia with 10,000 children either newly diagnosed, under treatment or in remission. The majority of childhood cancer survivors will have one or more chronic health, social or developmental challenges as a result of having intense treatment so young. 

Doctors predict global cancer rates will increase by three-quarters over the next two decades and they expect 20 million new cases by 2025.

Coinciding with Children’s Cancer Awareness month, Camp Quality has launched a new campaign reassuring families who have a child living with cancer that resilience-building  support is available – at hospital, at home, at school – and at camp.

The charity is marking 30 years of supporting children living with cancer by highlighting the long-term, profound effect that its resilience-building support has had on high-achieving individuals.

Watch Camp Quality's video about how your donation can help. To donate visit


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