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A diagnosis of childhood cancer can turn a family’s life upside down.
But relatives, friends, coworkers, and community members can serve as a port during this storm.
Sometimes figuring out what you need and how to organize offers of help can seem a little overwhelming.
Consider these ideas:
A friend or family member can serve as a point person. You will have one less thing to manage. The coordinator should be:
The coordinator can also screen visitors to know if it’s a good time to stop by. People’s intentions are good. But there can be so many people coming in and out, especially during the first weeks. It can be overwhelming.
You may need assistance at different stages throughout your journey.
When your child is newly diagnosed, consider asking for:
When your child is in the hospital, you or your child might need:
When your child is in outpatient treatment, consider asking for:
Talk with others who have been through similar experiences. They can help you anticipate specific needs.
These may include:
Help for Parents
Help with Siblings
Help for the Child/ Teen
As people learn about your child's illness, some may offer help. Keep a list. Even if you do not have a specific need at that moment, you can reach out later.
Put together a list of the people who have already offered their help and others who can be asked. Match them with your needs.
It can help to think of people in different areas of life:
Websites and apps can help families manage and update friends and volunteers easily. These include:
CaringBridge is a personal health journal. It helps patients communicate with friends and family, receive support, and coordinate tasks.
Lotsa Helping Hands
Lotsa Helping Hands is a care calendar website. It provides a way to organize meals and other help.
Take Them a Meal and Meal Train
Together does not endorse any branded product mentioned in this article.
Reviewed: September 2019