Inspiring teens battle cancer together

Reporter: Sally Obermeder | Producer: Michael O'Donnell
“Cass and I have never really had a time when one of us hasn’t been fighting"

Three years ago, Jason Carrasco met the young woman who would change his life.

Cassi Nascimento was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just 16 and when Jason, then 18, was diagnosed with testicular cancer, she reached out.

Cassi spent months with Jason helping to cheer him up and get him through it.

Finally, after a year of chemo and radiotherapy, Jason was cleared.

But it was not to be a happy ending for both of them, in a cruel twist of fate Cassi's cancer returned.

“The day they told me that I was cleared of my cancer, that same day Cass went for her standard three-monthly check up and the next day she was diagnosed with another brain mass that had come back in two parts of her brain," Jason said.

“Cassie and I have never really had a time when one of us hasn’t been fighting. It was really hard.”

Jason and Cass decided to push for a better result for patients like them.

In an interview filmed before her death in November 2013, Cassi reveals how difficult it was to be treated alongside people older than her.

"I was treated in a hospital and it was just for adults and during the night there was an old man who kept coming into my room because he was confused and lost and didn’t know where he was.

"The guy next to me farted all night and when you’re going through something you don’t really want to be around that. You’ve got enough to deal with."

They found the Sony Foundation’s You Can campaign to set up cancer units for teenagers in major hospitals.

The pair, who became involved in the Sony Foundation’s YouCan project hope that no one will be alone while fighting their own cancer battle.

"I hope others can find their Jason," Cass said.

It was Cass and Jason's dream to help other teens fight cancer in dedicated centres for people their own age. You can help achieve that by donating on the Souny Foundation's You Can site:

Donate to the Sony Foundation's You Can Program for teens fighting cancer.

Support Jason’s walk for Cassi in Wollongong on Sunday, November 9

Watch: A special appearance by The X Factor winner Samantha Jade was organized for by cancer survivor Bron as part of the Sony Foundation’s YouCan program.
Jason has recently been granted a Redkite scholarship to write a book about his friendship with Cass. This scholarship one of Redkite support services available to the 980 teenagers like Jason and Cas who are diagnosed with cancer each year. Find out more here.