Peter Mac News

Keeping young people connected 

01 February 2024

Screenshot 2024 02 01 at 9.47.28 am

For adolescents and young adults cancer impacts more than their health. It risks disruptions in achieving personal, educational, and vocational goals. 

“Education and employment are important determinants of future health and quality of life for young people,” explains Olivia Doidge, Education & Vocation Advisor at the Victorian Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Service. 

Education and Vocation Advisors help young people state-wide to stay engaged with work or study, closing a gap that can stop them from reaching their full potential. 

Jarni was 16 when she was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 2022. 

She worried about telling her friends and didn’t know how she would cope if she didn’t see them regularly. 

Jarni couldn’t attend most of year 11 because of her diagnosis and treatment. 

Screenshot 2024 02 01 at 10.25.29 amJarni during her treatment.

Her school suggested completing year 12 over two years, but Jarni wanted to finish with her peers. 

“The thought of going back a grade, having to make new friends and explain what was going on with my health, I didn’t like that” Jarni says. 

After Jarni relapsed just before year 12, her treatment was transferred to Peter Mac, where she connected with an Education & Vocation Advisor. 

They offered additional support and were able to help Jarni’s school with a new plan. 

These changes made it easier for Jarni to balance treatment and study – and she graduated from high school in 2023, receiving an Academic Growth Award in recognition of her achievement. 

Jarni has now accepted a place at University, deferring her course to take a gap year. Her travel plans include a visit to Thailand.