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    Clinical trials bring hope – Lesley and Casey’s story

    On the Dell’s Children website, a mother and father share their story about how clinical trials brought hope to their family during their son’s cancer treatment. Rex was 17 months old when he was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma. The article says: “Upon Rex’s diagnosis, Lesley and her husband, Casey, knew their family faced a long, uphill battle.  High-risk neuroblastoma is an aggressive and deadly form of childhood cancer, and the odds for survival were not in their child’s favor.  They agreed to enroll Rex into a clinical trial study using an experimental drug, Unituxin, for children with high-risk neuroblastoma.” In this Read more [...]

  • Childhood cancer: Reflections from a sister

    In this short video from the American Cancer Society, Sophie opens up about what it’s like to be sister to a child with cancer. Sophie’s brother was just three years old when he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. Although her brother survived his cancer, Sophie talks about the lasting emotional impact it has had on her. She talks about her experience as a sibling, noting that cancer had a profound impact on her formative years. When a child or a young person is diagnosed with cancer, the enormity of this is felt throughout the family. In particular, siblings of any age feel the Read more [...]

  • Support for grandparents of kids with cancer

    Grandparents of Kids with Cancer is a web page which offers support for grandparents around the world, giving them a place to share their experiences with other people who have a grandchild with cancer. They advocate for the important role that grandparents play in the family, and acknowledge the emotional and practical needs of grandparents. On the website they say, “Being told that your grandchild has cancer is devastating. Not only is your grandchild going through the most traumatic experience, but your own child is also facing the worst pain imaginable. Talking to other grandparents who are going through the Read more [...]

  • Caring for a son with cancer

    This New York Times documentary follows the story of Regina Hensley and her son Andrew as he fights an aggressive form of cancer, Ewing’s Sarcoma. For years, Regina Hensley struggled with addiction, even once attempting suicide. When her son Andrew was born, he gave her a reason to live. But when he received his diagnosis at 13 years old, Regina had to search for meaning once again. ‘Without Andrew, I can’t imagine what life would be about.’ -Regina Hensley In response to the documentary, the Times received almost 100 responses from parents who were caring for a sick child. Cancer Advisor Read more [...]

  • Born with cancer

    This article, published by the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, features Carrick Stafford Wood who was born with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a rare type of cancer. Carrick didn’t leave hospital for the first six months of his life, but finally returned home on Christmas Day. “It’s unusual [for a baby to be born with cancer]but it can happen. The most common cancer in newborns is neuroblastoma – a rare cancer of the developing nervous system (…) neuroblastomas and teratomas in newborns are usually very treatable, and most children are cured. Infantile leukemia is hard to treat, but again, with aggressive therapy, we Read more [...]

  • Rhi’s story: adjusting to a new normal after cancer treatment

    My son Connor was diagnosed with cancer at three years old. Thankfully he is currently in remission. Now that I finally have spare moments to breathe and reflect upon the whole traumatic journey of childhood cancer I have to admit that one of the most difficult parts was coming home. When my son was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma At the time of diagnosis we lived in Collinsville, a small mining community in rural North Queensland. Initially we were flown to Townsville hospital. After three days and much investigation we were transferred to Brisbane via Royal Flying Doctors. Our oncologist Read more [...]

  • Help for brothers and sisters – a video for kids

    When it comes to childhood cancer, brothers and sisters of a diagnosed child have specific needs. In fact, many “well” siblings will report feeling alone, lost and neglected. While there are various materials available that have been specifically written for parents to help address these needs, we’ve found a resource that is specifically geared to kids themselves – both the diagnosed and the well sibling! The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation in the U.S. created this fun and educational video as a way to emotionally support siblings of kids with cancer. The video is part of the Imaginary Friend Society series and was Read more [...]

  • Keeping your child healthy during cancer remission

    This factsheet from US website familydoctor.org offers some information and tips for parents when their child finishes treatment. Whether your child is in partial or complete remission, you may have questions like ‘what do I do next?’ and fears like ‘what if the cancer comes back?’ This article covers some topics including: Nutrition and exercise, Keeping records of your child’s treatment, and Late effects. To end this resources suggests Questions to ask your doctor such as: What kinds of symptoms should I look for that mean I should call you? What doctors should my child see now that the cancer is Read more [...]

  • For teachers: Cancer in the school community

    This booklet from Camp Quality offers tips for supporting children facing cancer in the school environment. This may include children with cancer, siblings of children with cancer, or children who have a parent with cancer. For any school experiencing cancer, it is important that teachers and support staff are equipped to educate the children about cancer and answer any difficult questions. Common questions from classmates include: How did they get sick? Can I catch it? Should I share things that are bothering me? They seem silly or trivial compared to what my friend is going through. What am I supposed Read more [...]

  • 8 lessons in childhood cancer

    The Kids Cancer Project has published a personal story by Sarah Weir who offers her eight lessons in childhood cancer. She writes: “Life for our family changed forever in 2013 when our two-year-old baby girl was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. For four years, Evie Grace endured surgeries and seemingly endless treatment only to relapse four times before gaining her angel wings on 19 December 2017. Throughout our cancer journey, because my husband Josh and daughter Alicia shared it too, there were moments of extreme joy alongside the heart wrenching pain. Here are a few lessons I learned along the way.” Her lessons include: Read more [...]

  • Unravel Pediatric cancer … until there is a cure

    Unravel Pediatric Cancer is a US based not-for-profit organisation working to spread knowledge about the realities of childhood cancer. They raise funds to: support research that investigates the causes and mechanisms of paediatric cancer; develop more effective and less toxic treatments; and find a cure. Unravel has produced an infographic to articulate their mission and show some statistics about childhood cancer in the United States.    After her daughter was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), Libby Kranz co-founded Unravel. DIPG is a type of brain cancer which doesn’t respond to chemotherapy and is terminal. She recalls: Her doctor Read more [...]

  • Kids Kicking Cancer: martial arts therapy

    Kids Kicking Cancer is a not-for-profit organisation that teaches the mind-body techniques of Martial Arts instruction, breath work and meditation to empower children beyond the pain and discomfort of disease. Kids Kicking Cancer now offers help and services to not only cancer patients, but any child in pain from a serious illness. They currently operate the Heroes’ Circle program in America, Canada, Israel and Italy and support ill children and their siblings aged 3-23 years old. Using martial arts therapy, Kids Kicking Cancer staff teaches ill children and their siblings to: Regain a sense of control over the chaos of their Read more [...]

  • Raising a child with cancer as a single mother

    On the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario website, Ashmara talks about raising her daughter as a single mother. Ashmara’s daughter Adaejah also has down syndrome. Cancer Advisor has a range of personal stories, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • “It was don’t give up from the beginning” – Eden’s story

    In 2015, 10-year-old Eden was diagnosed with a rare cancer. In this podcast and video, the Texas Children’s Cancer Center interview Eden and her family about her diagnosis, treatment plan and becoming cancer-free. After waking up with throbbing painful bump on her leg, her family started investigating what it could be. Her parents were carrying her because she couldn’t walk. “She was continuing to decline and the pain was getting worse,” her mother explains on the video. “I moved into that mommy mode where I need to be strong for my child.” “When we found out she was diagnosed with a Read more [...]

  • From vulnerability to resilience during childhood cancer

    In this powerful ASCO journal article, a mother reflects on how her family evolved from vulnerability to resilience during childhood cancer. The childhood cancer patient is referred to as Ben, which is a pseudonym. The article explains, “Although this is the story of 4-year-old Ben, we believe that his and his family’s experiences are relevant to patients of any age who have cancer. (We preserve his anonymity to empower him to decide whether and how to tell his story of vulnerability as an adult.)” Empowerment and resilience are the main themes in this article; and ASCO offers practical tips that Read more [...]

  • Single parenting a child with cancer – Ariel’s Story

    Single Parenting a Child with Cancer is an article by Roswell Park Cancer Centre about mother Ariel and her daughter, Natalie. Natalie was diagnosed with stage 3 embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (a rare form of cancer) at four years old. Ariel offers up her tips such as find your tribe, ask for help, ask questions, be gentle with yourself and keep the faith.   Cancer Advisor has a range of personal stories, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • “Avery’s Fight” – a four year old faces leukaemia

    Avery’s Fight is a four-minute long video by The Project which first aired on Network Ten. On the Ten Play website it says, “Four-year-old Avery Beal has spent most of her life in and out of hospital. And just when she thought she was better, she had to buckle up for yet another fight.” Cancer Advisor has a range of personal stories, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • Our Cancer Journey: Team Bella – Never give up!

    In March of 2014, our family was thrown onto the oncology roller coaster when Bella (aged four), was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (high risk). She would complete two and half years of chemotherapy bringing her into remission. Unfortunately, Bella relapsed in March 2017, eight months post treatment.     Bella would endure another eight months of intense treatment (including more intense chemotherapy followed by two bone marrow transplants). During her treatment, as her mum, carer and advocate, I decided to document her arduous journey. To provide awareness about childhood cancer and in doing so, provide hope, comfort and inspiration Read more [...]

  • Gather My Crew: coordinate help in tough times

    Gather My Crew connects people facing cancer to their community of friends and family. The online tools allows them to ask for, and receive, the practical support they actually need such as meals, transport, help with the kids and more. This can help coordinate help in tough times. How it works Our easy-to-use technology lets Gatherers (those coordinating the support) choose the help required from our comprehensive list and encourages Crew Members (friends, family, neighbours) to choose how they can help. Getting started with Gather My Crew is as simple as:  Step 1. Choose the help needed. Step 2. Invite Crew Members to lend a hand. This can Read more [...]

  • Six lessons in fatherhood and childhood cancer

    Six lessons in fatherhood from a journey with childhood cancer is a blog written by Larry Vincent – a father whose daughter has been fighting brain cancer for over 13 years. Larry outlines the six lessons he has learnt throughout his cancer experience. The blog is framed as advice for other fathers who may be starting their family cancer journey, and is thoughtful and relevant to Australian families. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources for dads experiencing childhood cancer, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.