WeCanDays 2022 - a retrospect by Zuzana Tomášiková
After two long years in which many offers were only available online due to the pandemic, the Survivors’ Centre was finally able to invite former childhood cancer patients to a physical version of the popular WeCanDays again. The idea behind it was the same: to get to know new people, address topics that have very little place in our everyday lives, and, at the same time, explore our own limits and talents in the various workshops.
The four days in Emmetten offered not only a full itinerary with interesting topics, but also plenty of opportunity to exchange ideas, network and have a good laugh together – all this in front of a fantastic backdrop high above Lake Lucerne. The joy of being able to meet up again in person was thus all the greater after the virtual meetings of the last couple of years.
After the aqua fitness sessions in the morning, the survivors attended a creative painting workshop, an archery taster course and a poetry slam session. In addition to the entertaining and instructive workshops, important information was provided on the services offered by the Survivors’ Centre as well as on the topics of survivorship and follow-up care. For some of the participants, this was the first opportunity to get in touch with professionals from different fields and to ask questions in a low-key setting. This year, Childhood Cancer Switzerland had engaged a range of experts. These included the follow-up specialist Eva-Maria Tinner, the psycho-oncologist Andreas Dörner, the Head of the justASKus clinic, Astrid Ahler, as well as the financial and advisory expert Andrea Schmid-Fischer from the advisory service Budgetberatung Switzerland.
The workshops offered ranged from dealing with your own body image and the challenges associated with cancer to the question of whether it makes sense to think about your own follow-up care and/or the situation re finances. All these topics along with many more were in focus over these jam-packed days. Nevertheless, the full programme still left plenty of time for informal exchanges and joint activities. For example, a visit to the glass-blowers at Glasi in Hergiswil followed by a splash and swim in the lake as well as a visit to the glass labyrinth and drum workshop.
This year was once again characterised by a lot of laughter and plenty of new things to try out. But naturally, there was also a focus on more serious topics. The WeCanDays 2022 were full of wonderful moments and encounters and left many positive impressions on all participants. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the survivors, workshop leaders and co-leaders as well as the Foundations and donators who made this fantastic event possible.