After lengthy preparations, we launched a long-awaited project to provide support, information and empowerment for parents taking care of children undergoing oncological treatments in the Pediatric Onco-Hematology ward of the Oncological Institute. The idea of this project arose from the urgent needs we identified while communicating with parents. The course and outcome of the treatment largely depends on the knowledge of the caretaking parent. They are responsible for proper care and nutrition, providing the necessary assistance in critical situations, constantly monitoring the child's condition and providing them with much-needed psychological support.
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 alsoof 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.
"Driver with a good heart" is a new project of the "Life without Leukemia" Association, through which we want to provide free transportation to the hospital and back home for families who care for children with cancer, and for whom transportation is a difficulty. For many such families, going to the hospital represents an additional source of stress and expenses that, most of the time, they cannot afford.