Do you know someone who's child was just diagnosed with cancer? As a mom who recently went through this, I wanted to share some helpful tips and advice on how you can offer support.
Ways to support families dealing with cancer
1. Prayers, thoughts or messages.
It meant the world when we received an outpouring of love and prayers when my son was diagnosed.
Send them a text and let them know you are thinking about them, but don't expect a text back right away.
2. Food Gift cards
Food trains are usually very popular when someone gets sick. When a child goes through chemotherapy, his taste buds are all out of whack.
This is where food gift cards are a better option. The parents will know what their child can tolerate and what they won't.
It's also great to have these for when you are going to and from hospitals and don't have time to be at home to eat.
3. Mow their yard
It's little things like this that you can't do when you are at the hospital for weeks at a time. Offer to come mow their yard or water their flowers.
4. Send toys, games or books to their child.
Those long stays in the hospital can be really hard. I remember my son's face lit up when he received gifts and toys while he was in the hospital.
5. Offer to do laundry
Again its another thing that has to be done and if you can take this off their plate, all the better!
Just remember that while they are on chemotherapy medicines, most clothes need to be washed twice.
This is because vomit, pee, and poop is extra toxic during this time.
6. Offer to watch siblings.
It's overwhelming for everyone including the siblings of children with cancer. Offer to watch them or plan a fun thing to do with them.
7. Visit or come sit with them.
When it's available, visit them in the hospital. It's nice to see a familiar face and have someone to talk to.
8. Donate to local cancer charities
Another way you can help is by donating to local charities. Baby Jay's Legacy of Hope helps Kansas kids with cancer and their families by offering financial assistance, holiday gifts and much more.
Some other great charities are:
More Cancer FAQ
It puts a lot of stress on their family. Not only are they going through all the emotions, they also have to put on a strong face for their child.
It's confusing. When cancer happens to a child, it's hard for that child to understand it and understand why they have to take all the terrible medicines to get better.
It can also strengthen a family too because they are all on a mission to beat cancer!
Prayers and messages are easy things you can do that doesn't take much time. You could also offer to help out with some household tasks like mowing the yard or doing laundry.
The best thing to tell them is that you are proud of them and that you are praying for them. Avoid saying things like I'm so sorry, it's not helpful and only confuses kids.
We feel heartbroken, scared, sad, and angry. Cancer robs parents of their peace and it robs children of their childhood.