Joyce’s story

Hi, my name is Joyce and I care for my Mum who had brain cancer.

I have been a young carer for 5 years . I provide care for my mum, and my siblings. A typical day for me would be, in the morning I help clean the house, do washing, do the dishes etc. Depending on what the weather is like and whether mum is feeling well or not, I walk my siblings to school. After I make tea (dinner) I do more washing, weed the vegetable gardens – plant things, weed, water etc, we eat and then we do homework, spend a bit of time together, wash dishes and go to bed.

Some of the things I enjoy about being a young carer are you often learn more about disabilities and illnesses . It can be a very good conversation starter. I can now relate more to those who have had bad experiences in their life. Some of the not so good things are that the responsibility can often be very tiring. It is very hard to be like other kids in my school. I can’t see my friends out of school hours.

When I need a break, I like to read books. They can transport me off to another “world” where I don’t feel stressed and where it is quiet. Being a young carer has changed my life because it has made going to events near impossible. Holidays are much harder. and a simple trip down to a mall feels impossible. Not being able to be there sometimes makes me feel annoyed with myself. If I could have anything to help me out it would be a private library, so I can escape from everyday life.
Being a young carer has taught me that cancer can happen to anyone. I would like others to realize that there are many who have experiences like you and know how you may feel.

One piece of advice I would like to share with other young carers is talk to teachers about homework if it’s not working for you.

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