In 2015 Josie came down with the flu that she just couldn’t shake. After a trip to the doctors and a referral to the hospital Josie underwent countless tests, soon after Josie was diagnosed with Acute lymphocytic leukaemia. Watching your child battle any kind of sickness is overwhelming and heartbreaking for any adult, but watching your child battle cancer is one of the toughest things of all. Later that year, Josie went into remission. As her mother said, she is one of the lucky ones.
Josie’s parents sought the support of the Child Cancer Foundation, they didn’t just have a sick child, they had two. They also had financial issues and housing problems, all things that come hand in hand with time off work and constant trips to the hospital.
With this month being the Child Cancer Foundation appeal, we wanted to join the conversation about Child Cancer and what can be done to help not only these children but their parents and siblings. We spoke to Josie’s mum Jacine to find out exactly what the Child Cancer Foundation did to help them.
What happened during the lead up to Josie’s diagnosis?
Leading up to diagnosis, Josie was in so much pain in her shoulder it woke her up during her sleep, we would take her to the doctors for the pain, but no one was sure what was causing it. One time in particular she had an awfully high temperature and the doctor sent her to hospital. I was unable to take Josie to the doctors this time, as I was at home looking after our youngest son who had surgery on his feet two days prior.
What happened after Josie’s diagnosis?
After she was diagnosed, our family struggled with the diagnosis and find our ‘new normal’. We didn’t have a car, we had three boys at home, and Josie’s dad was working full time. Without the support of Child Cancer Foundation, we would have struggled to stay afloat. Our family support coordinator Pelea was wonderful, she helped with the things you forget as days passed so quickly, and our full attention was on our daughter Josie. It was reassuring knowing that Child Cancer Foundation supported us with travel, supermarket shopping and so much more while we were readjusting to Josie and her diagnosis.
When did you first hear about Child Cancer Foundation?
We first heard about Child while being told of Josie’s diagnosis; our oncologist mentioned the support the Foundation provides, particularly emotionally, while she was telling us what type of leukaemia it was. We had our first meeting with Pelea (our Child Cancer Foundation family support coordinator) the following week.
How did Child Cancer Foundation help your family?
Child Cancer Foundation helped us in so many ways of ways. 2015 was a rough year for us, not only because of Josie’s diagnosis, but we were living in a substandard rental, and a number of other factors going on behind the scenes. The Foundation took a lot of the stress off our shoulders, they fed our kids when we couldn’t, kept us warm, talked to us when the world was on our shoulders, had sleepovers and camps for our boys when they started feeling the effects siblings almost inevitably face (when their sibling is diagnosed). They help is the most practical ways. Without Child Cancer Foundation, our journey would have been so much more daunting than it was.
If you want to know more about the Child Cancer foundation or want to help, head to their website.