The importance of helping families of children with cancer
Supporting families caring for children with cancer is extremely important. Every time a parent is told that their child has cancer, they become overwhelmed with confusion and often feel like this is an `apocalypse`. Parents are scared not only of the challenges their child is bound to face, but also of their own personal issues.
Increasing parents' confidence in accepting their child’s disease and the upcoming fight for survival along with the doctors is a crucial condition for overcoming all the issues that may arise - long-term treatment in the hospital (from 9 to 12 months), financial expenses, ignorance of other family members, difficult psychological situations etc.
Thus, it is essential to ensure that the adult caring for a child with cancer is well informed and trained to become a fiery defender of their child, to be able to protect his rights, to know when and how to call for medical help and to support the child when they are not feeling well.
Families in need. There are lots of them in the pediatric oncology wards.
The situation is much more complicated when talking about families in need. It is a known fact that the Republic of Moldova is the poorest country in Europe, and a considerable part of the population has incomes below the living wage.
It is these families that need help the most when their children are going through such difficult times. Some parents give up treatment due to lack of money, and this is extremely dangerous for the child – with no treatment, the disease worsens and inevitably leads to death.
Our social support programs for families who care for children with oncological blood diseases and are undergoing treatment at the Oncological Institute of the Republic of Moldova manage to offer help to about 70-80 families every year (direct financial aid, hygiene items, clothing, food etc.)
How can we help?
Our wards treat children from all regions of the Republic of Moldova, including the Transnistrian region and Gagauzia.
Most often, patients end up in the hospital unexpectedly. Being referred for a specialized consultation to the capital city, they find themselves hospitalized for a long period of time, and parents who care for them have to always be around their children. They often lack everyday items such as personal care essentials or slippers. Lots of families are not financially prepared for such situations, because beside all that, many problems arise relating to managing treatment and supporting children during this difficult times.
The first thing we can offer these families on their admission to the hospital is a set of prime necessity products, which is essential for every child and parent in the pediatric oncology wards.
Yellow is the international color for pediatric cancer - it symbolizes light, hope and confidence in a speedy recovery.
A small yellow bag, which might just be trivial to us, becomes a lifeline for the family and a source of smiles for the child.
`We ended up in the oncology ward of a children's hospital. We were there for a few hours, and then the doctors sent us here. When we arrived here we were desperate and really scared of what was to come. I was not prepared for staying in the hospital, I had no toothpaste, no towels.... Fortunately, the very next day after admission I received a yellow bag – filled with the most needed items for our hospital stay. It felt like a little ray of sunshine for us, a sign that those around us care about us. I would even say that this small gift felt as a glimmer of hope that we will overcome this challenge…`
Children shall not be fighting cancer alone!
Support the Yellow Bag campaign and help us provide children with cancer with everything they need for hospitalization.