Bon Secours St. Francis announces plans to open teen cancer unit - FOX Carolina 21

Bon Secours St. Francis announces plans to open teen cancer unit

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(File/FOX Carolina) (File/FOX Carolina)

On Wednesday, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System announced plans for a teen cancer unit.

The hospital partnered with national nonprofit Teen Cancer America. Upon completion, the teen unit will be one of eight in the United States.

The inpatient facility will serve teens and young adults with cancer, ages 15 to 39.

First Citizens Bank and Teen Cancer America pledged to grant $320,000 for the development of the cancer unit.

"They're too old to go into pediatric units, and to a large degree, are too young to be in the adult unit. Finding common threads and camaraderie with other patients to build support groups is a challenge," said Craig McCoy, CEO of Bon Secours St. Francis Health System.

Craid McCoy said the new unit will allow patients to receive treatment in an environment designed specifically for teens and young adults.

Iszella Macias has been in remission for two years but remembers what it was like being a twenty-something with cancer.

"Being a young person with cancer puts your life on hold while everybody ease's life keeps on going. Your friends are out traveling or at work and you're just stuck at the hospital all day," said Macias.

Macias attends a support group for adolescents and young adults with cancer. The group is helping out with ideas for the new teen unit.

"We're letting them know what would have made our stay a little easier by putting our input in," said Macias.

Macias said the right environment helps lift patient's spirits and can make a big difference in their lives.

"Being able to have an open area where your family and friends will come visit you with games and other little things like that will help you pass the time," said Macias. 

Macias said she hopes to help other young adults with cancer and believes this new unit is a step in the right direction.

"I'm very proud that St. Francis is doing this and that I can be a part of it. This is a horrible disease and if it just makes it a little bit easier for one person I've made a difference," said Macias. 

Programs with the new cancer unit will be implemented over the next two years at St. Francis Downtown. 

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