The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS) believes a family facing childhood cancer should only have to focus on getting their child well again. The NCCS can serve as a master navigator to guide and support them with resources beyond the travel assistance most families initially seek from the NCCS.
The NCCS Family Support Program helps ease the emotional strain a childhood cancer diagnosis takes on families by providing a case manager who is trained in giving emotional and practical support to parents and caregivers. These dedicated individuals lend an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on and referrals to other resources that a family might need.
The organization also hosts a private Facebook group that provides a compassionate and supportive environment for childhood cancer survivors and their parents/guardians. The group is a safe place to connect with peers, share tips/resources and provide or receive encouragement.
“Our NCCS case manager was absolutely wonderful and always followed up with me. We are forever grateful,” said Adrianne, mom of Vance who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The NCCS Mentoring Program pairs children ages 10-17 in treatment with an NCCS Beyond the Cure Ambassador Scholarship recipient who becomes trusted and caring role model. This special relationship offers children a friend who genuinely understands their experience and is uniquely able to offer support and advice.
As a child becomes a survivor, the Late Effects After Treatment Tool (LEATT) offered by the NCCS helps prepare families for the potential “late effects” of their child’s diagnosis and treatment. Late effects are physical, emotional and cognitive complications that can occur years after treatment has ended. Two-thirds of all childhood cancer survivors will experience one or more late effects in their lifetime.
The LEATT provides a personalized assessment of a survivor’s potential late effects, symptoms to look for, provide recommendations for follow-up care, and offer prevention tips that may help reduce the risk of further health issues. The organization also maintains a list of Long-Term Follow Up Clinics so families can find the expert physicians closest to them.
In addition, the organization offers free guides for parents and survivors, which include a section dedicated to emotional health. The guides and all of the NCCS publications are free. They can be found on the NCCS website here.
The NCCS is committed to helping families stay strong, stay positive and stay together —NO MATTER WHAT. From diagnosis through survivorship, the NCCS provides caring specialists and vital resources to give kids and families the wide range of support they need.