Support and more information
A diagnosis of cancer in a child is difficult time for all involved. It’s normal for you and your family to feel overwhelmed, scared, anxious or angry.
If or others around you are having trouble coping, make sure you speak to your child’s treatment team. They have helped and supported many other families who have been through what you’re currently going through. Sometimes just letting other people know how you’re feeling helps you feel less alone. If you feel supported, then you will feel more able to support your child.
Most children’s hospitals will allocate a social worker to each family to provide support throughout treatment. If you need support, contact your hospital-based social worker to let them know how you’re feeling and to see what support can be made available to you and your family, including music therapists, play therapists or education support staff.
The following webpages and organisations also offer support and/or extra information for children with cancer and their families:
- Living with children’s cancer has information about physical, emotional and practical issues during and after diagnosis and treatment.
- Organisations that can provide support and information.
- Redkite is a national organisation that provides emotional support, financial assistance, information and resources to families who have a child with cancer. You can reach them through their support line 1800 733 548 (1800 REDKITE), which is open (9am-7pm AEST), email firstname.lastname@example.org or live chat on www.redkite.org.au
- Canteen provides a service called Canteen Connect, an online community for young people aged 12-25 dealing with their own or a close family member’s cancer, and Parent Connect, an online community with resources, information and peer support on parenting through cancer. Online counselling is available seven days a week, including evenings. Visit https://canteenconnect.org/ or call 1800 835 932.
- The Cancer Council in your state or territory can give you:
- general information about cancer
- information on resources and support groups in your area.
- You can call the Cancer Council Helpline from anywhere in Australia on 13 11 20.
- Any of the major children’s hospitals and networks in your state or territory can provide information about childhood cancer.
For more information about childhood retinoblastoma, see:
- Retinoblastoma, from the American Cancer Society
- Retinoblastoma treatment (PDQ®), from the National Cancer Institute (United States)
- Retinoblastoma, from Rare Cancers Australia.
Note that information from international organisations may not always apply to children in Australia.