I am so glad that the families and friends of the two children with cancer featured in a recent Roundup article are raising money to help them cover expenses.
I wish I didn't, but I know firsthand what a trying time they are going through. My son, Collin, was diagnosed with leukemia just after he turned two in Aug. 1998.
My son and I have been blessed with a great family and friends who have helped us in so many ways. I'm very pleased to report that he is doing great and is halfway through his chemotherapy regimen. He has another year and an half left before his treatment will be through.
I don't think people realize how many pediatric cancer patients there are in our area. I know of five other brave, young cancer patients (including my son) and I am sure there are even more than those I know about. I don't wish to take anything away from the fund-raising efforts of those two families. However, I do want to offer people some other suggestions for helping out a family with a sick child.
There are many simple, inexpensive ways for people to lend a hand during this difficult time. First on the list is to donate blood. Cancer patients of all ages use a lot of donor blood. It is necessary to keep them healthy and able to continue with their treatment.
People also need to get into the National Bone Marrow Registry. It is a simple blood test to see if you can be the one in a million it takes to save someone's life.
A lot of the everyday things fall by the wayside when a family is doing their part to help the doctors save their child's life. The other suggestions I have are also simple and can take a great deal of stress off the whole family.
Offer to take care of any siblings when a child needs to travel to Phoenix for treatment or for hospitalizations.
Offer to clean their car, take it in for an oil change, or even be a taxi for the family to get them where they need to go, whether in town or to the Valley.
Supply them with a box of things to keep children entertained in the car or during hospitalizations.
Offer to care for any pets when they don't have the time or energy.
Offer to clean their house, pick up groceries, run small errands or do some laundry while they care for the child.
Bring over a frozen casserole or order dinner out and have it delivered to the family after they have spent a long, exhausting day at the clinic.
Bring over a movie and watch the kids so the parents can go out.
Just lending an ear or a shoulder can help immensely.
Lastly, if you don't know how to help, just ask them.
I hope I have given people some other ideas and ways to help a family going through a hard time. Please remember that most of these things are helpful to any family in need, not just those with a sick child. Please be in prayer for all children in need of healing.
Proud mother of a very special child