A Caithness mother has praised the efforts of a mental health charity for helping her cope with the anxiety surrounding her daughter’s cancer battle.
Nine year-old Imogen Gunn was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, cancer of the soft palette, in May 2019.
For seven months, the youngster received intense chemotherapy treatment in Aberdeen along with six weeks in Manchester.
Upon returning home to the north, Imogen began receiving maintenance chemotherapy at Raigmore hospital.
19 months on, Imogen is recovering well at home since finishing treatment in June.
To help her family cope with the strain health workers referred the family to the Teapot Trust, a mental health charity provides support for children and families coping with long-term conditions through the delivering of art therapy.
Imogen’s mum Valerie said their support have helped them get their life back on track.
She said: “I think art therapy has helped us massively. Cancer completely takes over your whole life; it’s your everything, no matter what you’re doing, where you’re going, or who you’re seeing .
“The sessions with Nicola took my mind off everything, really helped ease my anxiety about being back home away from the safety of the hospital and helped me to get back into spending quality time with my girls and being able to enjoy life again.”
Imogen said she has enjoyed being able to spend some quality time with her mum Valerie having fun.
She said: “Art Therapy has made me feel more relaxed. I really like Nicola and I can talk openly to her, and not be scared to say anything.
“She has helped me to talk a bit more about everything I went through last year, as well as anything that’s bothering me just now too. I like that I’ve been able to do something fun with my mum again.
“I love doing art the most.
Ms Gunn praised her daughter for her resilience throughout the duration of her treatment.
“From the moment Imogen was diagnosed, she had this amazing attitude that she just had to get on with it, get the treatment and get better,” she added.
“In many ways she was my rock through it all. I think the art therapy sessions have allowed her to just be a little girl again with no worries. She talks more to me about how she feels and doesn’t feel like she has to protect me anymore”.
The Teapot Trust celebrated its 10th anniversary last month supporting more than 12,000 young people through art therapy.
Chief Executive Sarah Randell said: “Together, team Teapot has worked with vision and tenacity to continue “being there” for the children and families who need us.
“The value of what we do is proven with 92% of children supported saying we’ve helped them feel better.”