OMF - Jen Noonan, MSW, Adolescent Specialist, Jimmy Fund Clinic 8-15-17

Jen’s role focuses on the Just for Teens Program. She works with the adolescent and young adult population in the Jimmy Fund Clinic. The goal of this program and a large part of Jen’s job is to ease the treatment experience for teens by offering age-appropriate activities to help support them. Additionally, the program facilitates peer-to- peer connection and support – patients connecting with others their age who “get it.”There are two parts of the Teen Program:
o Offerings in the Clinic (Teen Area in clinic, special daily age appropriate
activities, FACES & FLASHES groups)
o Offerings Outside the Clinic (trips)

Jen says that we hear so much about the teen trips during the Radio-Telethon – and of course, these experiences are amazing – but she wants to shine a little light on the day-to- day elements of the Teen Program, such as support groups (FACES & FLASHES), Jen says that a goal of Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund Clinic is to make cancer a part of patients’ lives, but not the center of a patient’s life – this is especially important for teens who are going through important life milestones such as high school graduation or freshman orientation at college.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Our next guest is genuine and genuine and is an adolescent specialist with the Jimmy Fund clinic and former great meeting you. And they sit and tell us exactly what you do. So. You know my job at the clinic is to ensure that we have really exciting supportive services for teens. What we know about teens in general in fifth in a hard time in your life for and we are remember being there and and how difficult that can be and certainly when there's a cancer diagnosis. Thrown in the mix of that. It's heart and soul I think you know one of the things that we want to think about and with hurt it a lot even just this morning is. How'd it and dale black sense of hope rate how to keep things hopeful for patients and I think a lot of that comes through. Trying to keep things as normally as possible and so we have different ways that we do that you've heard. About the trips. That we take throughout the year and one day in treating her yep exactly. And that's certainly one land we also do a lot of in clinic activities and we have some support groups to use it's really thinking about. The range of patients that we see that are teens and thinking about different ways that we can meet those needs for. Yes yet when I think of key programs you know you mentioned you know you know taken a trip down this spring training it. Ice I ever really hear you don't Justin Bieber concert you know I I hear you know where the different types of trips is that part of a what you view are able to draw from like those opportunities. Yeah I mean I think there's so much that goes into that day could aid they're so much that that we eat cake served going off of the things that you just said. Whether it's going to meaning concert tickets and giving them an opportunity. Or just finding that someone has. Of love for music and sort of weaving that into their dated eight treatment experienced told me acting clinic in better and more fair ball. But you know lots of things with Justin Bieber is often. Feel we've talked before about all these programs that you do register I love the way you've always got to put it in when you talk a vote cancer being part of a patient's life. But not the center of the patient's life and this is kind of what these are what it's all about right almost taking your mind off reform yet I have cancer but it's not it's it's not everything. You know I think that's the ultimate goal that we he. We want to keep things normal we want we know and recognize that that's the part of their lives. But it's not the center it shouldn't be the whole thing and so thinking about ways to be creed and then. Help ease that a little bit tight in and I think. Recently there was a patient who is actually in clinic unexpectedly for five days in a row and image she had to miss her summer camp and she was so bummed out. And so there are ranger reason for outrage she couldn't see her friends she couldn't plan and things didn't go according lean. And that we talked about like for a while but what's one of your favorite things to do that she and so we brought the clinic and we did that. You know her infusion room right there and although it doesn't make up for missing camp. How sort of bring those pieces that can make it normally you're gonna do that camp and it Q. The outside trips you know those are outstanding we hear so much about it but there's a lot of things you do it immediately the day to day basis to revoke the pieces in flashes progress yes fifa and clashes are accused support groups that we ran for thirteen. And ultimately the goal of those institute applications together so that they can be with peers who who understand what it's like even if you have the most supportive. Friends ambling. Ultimately don't understand what it's like the eighteenth cancer and so those groups really sort of poking fun and much like the trips gather teens together but they happen more frequently for the ears their their monthly groups. We have dinner together we usually gave some type of really cool our project and teens look like you know and it's something different than like some something younger kids they deal. But it also gives them an opportunity to ask questions to each other to sort of swap stories about. When they got their port placed lower when they got radiation when they lost their hair and patients that are. A little further out of treatment able to sort of ease the fears and concerns of those that are just starting. That's really the magic you know it sort of a different type of medicine that. We can provide 54 more but we can't provide those opportunities of appeared. Will be. We interview a lot of young kids 567 years of age and I always get the feeling that sometimes they don't know what's going on so they have a happy go lucky you know feeling amongst themselves. We teenagers I would think it's the most difficult they know exactly what's going on plus. The lifestyle of a teenager is disrupted. By all of this treatment right and it's got to be that that's going to be the roughest page. Yeah I you know I think I think for a variety of reasons it's so hard for any needs we know from birth right up to adult side. But I think for teens it's such a developmental. Milestone and point your life for so many different things are happening. And so you might be missing your junior prom your senior prom your graduation even you know these milestones that he work towards as your growing up and so. It's really really hard and you know the other piece. That you mentioned about like having an understanding of cancer I think teens fall much more into. Sort of the knowledge pool as we as adults do ray we know what cancer is we know what that word means and sometimes. Patients that are younger they they probably know what's happening isn't normal rate pared their younger peers aren't going in the hospital or clinic. They don't necessarily have that same connotation from an older patients do and it's it adds another layer. Now if he did not Wear his you need some of these these young teens that once they get farther out of the process they're able to relate and maybe explain some the issue some of the newer patient wants. Some these teenagers are healed and and they're done. How how many of these do you see them coming back and actually getting back in the U starting all over again with the process as far as educating some of the younger ones. Yeah in I think they think I see a lot of teens and young adults giving back in a variety of ways and whether it acts you know in groups that were having and doing actor actually. Or whether that's going to nursing school her becoming a social worker becoming a doctor. And so it really sort of I think it fuels a lot of what we do you know we strive to you. Help teens get well and a variety of ways medically and emotionally. And so when we heat and being able to come back and give more to others whether it's in clinic or whether it's living their life doing other things. It fuels us you know it it keeps us going and scanning the other the other side to that is when we see patients that aren't able to do that for a whole variety of Friesen and send him you know me keeping a they aren't ready to do that or maybe they didn't survive and so. The other side is what fuels us as well and I think it's why it's so important to continue to give funds than to donate to this concert such a spectrum of what's needed and where how much further we have to go out there. You kind of breaks your heart that they can see why we're here right now because the cost a lot of money to run these trips to almost. Not be able to because the funds out there or to not be able to include everyone that should be because the funds out there I know that. And we in the details and I don't have to golf turn young next month to kind of help fund some of these outside trips. John Dennis than a great job Lester usually doing what here in September but. It doesn't cost a lot of money and send these kids out on the trip it is you see is very very important that. Absolutely absolutely and you know every penny every dollar counts there's no amount that's too little and it really just helps us do our jobs better whether it's. Data dating clinic activities whether it's through support groups or whether it's through that the large tract that we do it so so crucially important what's what's. Been most recommended it's I guess I'm recommended by. With some what does one trip that everybody wants to do. You know I think that's sort of the beauty about our range of services that we offer is that it's different for every one. Patience really identify with different trips are wanna going different ones for different reasons and you know they in clay clinic activities peace or the support groups sometimes that's a better fit for people and so I think that's. Why it's important that we offer such a variety of things because they have such a large patient population meets a lot of different means so. Is that whoever said. He would be ever had to say. You can't do that want. I don't think so now you know I I don't think I don't think we have I think a lot of what we TU is based on what patients are asking for and it fits within reason we try our absolute power and. Model that is if anyone ever suggest hey I wanna go work with board way Maloney in for you today we can make and I have a chance yeah. A little available through that let's make it happen we'll talk sports we'll talk all pop culture we'll talk to the beaver we'll talk at all. Great so now be detective lets you know that Friday September 15 that's the day that is when the WEI Jimmy Fund golf tournament to be at Cape Cod club of sharing. In charity go to WB I dot com slash golf teacher forced him and you know you can register and again the proceeds to this golf tournament will be helping. Jen send of these patients down to spring training other different events outside of Dana Farber notes very very important Jeff thanks for stopping by thanks for all you do employment that's actually a much thinking it's John Noonan.