Suffer the Children: A Collection of Biographical Stories from Patients, Families, and Professionals in the World of Pediatric Cancer

Farris, Samuel Taylor (2018) Suffer the Children: A Collection of Biographical Stories from Patients, Families, and Professionals in the World of Pediatric Cancer. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Curtis Wilkie from Journalism and New Media, The University of Mississippi.

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One area of cancer diagnoses that has garnered much attention in recent years is pediatric oncology. Many adults, certainly not all, increase likelihood of cancer, both directly and indirectly, through usually habitual lifestyles (tobacco use, alcoholism, etc). Meanwhile, children are plagued by cancer through seemingly no fault of their own, provoking widespread curiosity. Researchers tend to analyze pediatric cancer with quantitative data, but this investigation is based on qualitative information, by compiling a list of thirty individuals who have, in some way, been affected by pediatric cancer, and examining their attitudes and reflections in various time stages, outcomes, and relations to disease. In order to maintain strength in the analysis without belaboring on a generally melancholy subject, the list of thirty was narrowed to a dozen subjects, each of which provides a unique perspective. At least one interview was conducted with each subject, and a first-person narrative setting was created respectively, based solely off the individual’s daily routines, which would then channel into a period of reflection where the musings of the subject were incorporated. In essence, each section serves to paint a picture of each subject to the reader, both in terms of a lifestyle and a mentality coping with cancer. What I found time and again throughout the study was that, generally speaking, the subjects who had been patients were much more positive overall than non-afflicted individuals such as relatives and care providers. Moreover the healthcare professionals seemed much more affected by the patients than the patients were by the disease. Likewise, relatives of patients were much more emotional when discussing cancer than the sufferers themselves. Several interviewees admitted that in the most stressful moments, the children were the most stable beings, taking each blow in stride, regardless of severity. After considering all of this, my conclusion is that though cancer levees children with a more substantial blow physically, the mental anguish and grief that it causes for witnesses is equally impactful. From a medical perspective, there seems to be very little correlation in backgrounds, demographics, or personalities when it comes to pediatric diagnosis or survival rates. Cancer appears to be a beast that, in regards to children, plays no favorites.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Farris, Samuel Taylor
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. Journalism
Thesis Advisor: Curtis Wilkie
Thesis Advisor's Department: Journalism and New Media
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: A General Works > AC Collections. Series. Collected works
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CT Biography
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Depositing User: Samuel Farris
Date Deposited: 11 May 2018 14:36
Last Modified: 11 May 2018 14:36

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