Help for a Friend whose Child is Diagnosed with Cancer
Many parents comment on how helpful neighbours and friends have been during their child’s cancer treatments, volunteering to care for other children at home, making meals, and even driving visitors to see the patient.
One of the most important things you can do, however, is to ask your friend what the family needs, and be respectful of their privacy. Even well-meaning relatives and friends can quiet easily overwhelm parents of a child with cancer.
Families need to be direct about what they need – and what they don’t need!
When friends offer to help, suggest specific tasks. One idea that we often recommend is suggesting that friends donate blood, because cancer patients of all ages often need transfusions of blood or blood products, such as platelets. Even if the donations don’t directly benefit the child they know, more blood will be available for other sick children.