The University of Tennessee Foundation, Inc.

Improving Coping with Cancer for the Youth in East Tennessee

The University of Tennessee Foundation, Inc. plans to address pediatric patients with cancer residing in East Tennessee. They face many obstacles in their access to quality medical care: long driving times to healthcare providers, poor access to health specialists, history of poor health outcomes in the region. One of the particular challenges of adolescents with cancer is the lack of skills for coping with cancer-related stress. Cancer disrupts normal development, schooling, and relationships with family and friends, which results in high anxiety, depression, and social isolation. Community-based intervention is an effective way to address these issues because it combines state-of-the-art knowledge about the effects of cancer on adolescents with an understanding of the community’s unique needs. The overall goal of this project is to create a sustainable program to develop healthy coping skills in adolescents with cancer (ages 10 to 19 years) residing in Knox and surrounding counties (Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Loudon, Roane, Sevier, and Union).