For many families having a child diagnosed with cancer is an enormous financial strain. In many cases one or more parents must leave their jobs in order to care for their sick or dying child. The end result can be an inability to meet even the most basic daily expenses. The financial support programs are designed to provide emergency funding and utilized when all other options have been exhausted.
Where no other support is available the following funding is provided to improve the quality of life for children with cancer who may be on or off active cancer treatment and/or on palliative care.
Providing equipment and essential services outside of the medical facility. This often enables families to return home and to a more normal lifestyle.
Enabling families to maintain their quality of life for the entire family. Support includes care packages for Christmas and special events.
DAILY LIVING SUPPORT:
During difficult financial times families have access to funds that will enable them to support their general living requirements such as payment of rent, utility bills, and groceries.
Parking Passes and Phone
Basics costs associated with hospitalization can be very draining on the family. Practical support such as parking passes and telephones at the bedside are provided in order to reduce the financial strain.
Bursaries totaling $15,000 are awarded to childhood cancer patients and survivors in support of their post-secondary education. Applicants are entitled to a one-time award of up to $1,000, paid directly to the postsecondary institute.
This program enhances the quality of life for a child with learning difficulties by helping them bypass or compensate for specific deficits and build upon given strengths. This program provides children with equipment such as personal FM systems, iPads, and computer-based writing systems.
Finding affordable accommodation can be a challenge for families. This is of particular importance when due to medical issues they need to be close to their child. If no other option exists the Society will fund short-term accommodation close to the hospital.
Palliation & Bereavement Support
Funds are made available to families to use in a manner that will assist their families during a very difficult time. Funds may be used for respite, entertainment purposes, or funeral expenses. Providing the family with an outlet is essential during this time so that they may continue to focus on providing positive support and attention to their dying child.
Chemotherapy and radiation used to treat the child very often cause cognitive learning difficulties. In an effort to ensure that these children have the same opportunities as their peers this program works with parents and children to determine if the child is experiencing learning difficulties due to the late effects of treatment and if so create a plan for support. We also work with the schools ensure they are aware of the child’s needs and to work with the families to help them learn to cope with these challenges. We are pleased to share that the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation provides us with a significant annual grant in support of this vital program.
Recognizing the unique needs of the teenager with cancer, the Teen Room, located next to the oncology unit, was funded by the Kids with Cancer Society. Each year funds are directed to this program to ensure that the Teen Room continues to provide an environment that provides teens with an opportunity and outlet to share their experiences, gain support, and have fun.
Aimed at providing families with immediate access to essential medical information throughout the various stages of the treatment. Resources include medical handbook and textbooks providing a quick reference to information specific to the treatment of their child.
Playing instruments and expressing themselves through music helps divert the child’s attention and reduce their anxiety during difficult procedures. The music therapist works with children of all ages and to create a calming and supportive environment.
Advocacy and Awareness
Representing our children is something that we take seriously. We recognize that during difficult times, families often do not have the energy or resources to create change. Therefore, the Kids with Cancer Society is committed to working with community and medical agencies to highlight the needs and influence positive change for children with cancer and their families.
Ensuring that children with cancer are aware of the support that is available, resources such as email communication, Facebook, and our website are updated regularly.
Sadly of all children diagnosed with cancer in developing countries only 20% have access to treatment. Thousands of children die each year due to lack of treatment. Recognizing that childhood cancer has no geographic boundaries the Kids with Cancer Society directs 1% of its funding to a pediatric oncology center in Bogota, Columbia.
Family Advisory Council
The Family Advisory Council of the Kids with Cancer Society is a group of family members who have been impacted by childhood cancer. Their role is to advocate for the improvement of programs, services, policies, and the overall quality of cancer care provided to children, teens, and their families throughout their lives.