The hands in Zach’s Foundation logo stand for helping others, because Zach and our family were overwhelmed with love and support during Zach’s fight. It’s never easy to know what to say or know how to help. Having a child diagnosed with cancer throws your world upside down. Basic needs for the family are important. Taking away small burdens for the family fighting cancer so they can concentrate on their child and siblings are essential!
How can you help someone you know fighting a pediatric cancer battle? The following feedback came from families during their journey:
-Take simple burdens away from those struggling so the focus can remain on the child and siblings (and it’s important for mom/dad of ill child to take care of themselves) so it’s ok and very much appreciated to offer help.
-Bring a meal or start a meal train (www.mealtrain.com makes the process so simple)!
-Be specific “I am coming to …mow the lawn, get groceries on (Wednesday or Thursday…). Is there anything specific I need to know? Even with having a very ill child parents are reluctant to burden others and often don’t know where to start to ask for help. Think of basic things your family needs and assist the family the same way.
-Gift cards, popping in every day to gather up clothes that needed washing. Volunteer to drive to chemo appointments, $$ for parking, snacks for the waiting room, prepared foods.
-Offer to help siblings, get them to activities, play dates.
-Please don’t say “call me if you need anything.” Parents will not call.
Visit, sit and listen if that’s what the family needs. “I don’t know what to say” is common, and that’s ok. Being present and supportive in any form is appreciated.
-Families can be gone for hours, days, weeks at a time. Offer to care for pets.
-Mow the lawn, take care of snow removal for the family.
-Know that every act of kindness is appreciated, if not acknowledged it is because there is so much to keep up with or the family does not know things are being done on their behalf and the child is the focus. EVERY act of kindness is appreciated.