If you are a friend or family member of a parent whose child has been diagnosed with cancer, you will naturally want to ask, 'Is there anything I can do to help?'. But when parents are in such an overwhelming situation, they may struggle to think of an answer.
Make it easy for them
Hearing their child has cancer turns a parent's world upside down and they may not know where to start when they are offered help. So make a practical offer, like collecting the other children from school. Be specific about time too. For example, say you'll pick up the children from school on Tuesday, rather than generally promising to babysit sometime. This approach makes it easier to plan, and gives parents one less thing to think about.
10 ways to help
Parents tell us they deeply appreciate the support they receive from family and friends. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture - the little things mean a lot. Our 'How can I help?' booklet lists some of the ways you can help make life a little easier at a difficult time. Remember that cancer treatment can go on a long time, sometimes years. It's a marathon, not a sprint, so try to keep the offers of help coming. You can order or download the booklet for free by visiting our Publications Library.
Maisie and her family share tips
Whether you like the idea of running a marathon, hosting a coffee morning or even taking part in a special challenge, doing some fundraising can be a great way to show support for the family. We have lots of brilliant ideas on how to get involved.
Reviewed July 2016, next planned review 2018.