When a child is diagnosed with cancer, a family’s world is turned upside down. The diagnosis comes with so many unknowns. A parent’s questions change from, “What are we having for dinner tonight?” and “What did you do at school today?” to “Can my child attend school, and if not what then?” and “Who will explain cancer to my child in terms they will understand?”
Parents wonder, “Who will help my child manage uncomfortable procedures,” “Is there someone who can support our family spiritually or hold my hand while waiting on test results that might confirm my fears?” “Can someone help our family deal with the anger, sadness or stress my child is feeling?” “Who will celebrate with us when my child has a good day while inpatient because they understand what our family is faced with each day?”
When a family receives a diagnosis of pediatric cancer, the answers to these questions and many others are most often answered by a member of the child’s Family Support Team. This team of professionals assigned to a patient upon diagnosis might include a childlife specialist, chaplain, teacher, psychologist and social worker. These everyday heroes walk with the family through each step of a child’s diagnosis and treatment. Family Support Teams are made up of special individuals who dedicate themselves to making a difference for the children and entire families they support. They recognize each patient is unique and treat the “whole” child while addressing the emotional, social, physical and spiritual needs of each patient.
Please join CURE Childhood Cancer as we recognize and thank Family Support Team members everywhere who not only support the patients and their families, but also work diligently with the patient’s medical care team to provide the highest level of care for each patient.