Sadie’s come a long way from that day three years ago when she collapsed at the school cross-country, and an ambulance had to rush her to hospital.
There, doctors met mum and dad, Mel and Damien, sat them down, and told them the
Sadie had cancer.
Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Mel shared how it felt, hearing the worst news any parent could ever hear:
“For me, I was in a kind of shock…the most challenging part came when I had to call people and tell them. Grandparents. Friends. Family. People just started crying, and I found myself having to comfort them.”
She took part in out education support program while receiving treatment.
What you can do is simple and practical. As medical experts and caring nurses look after a child like Sadie’s treatment and recovery, there’s one challenge they can’t fix. That is making sure the child with cancer doesn’t fall behind in school, and risk missing out on reaching their potential.
That’s where you step in. Your kindness today can help provide education for a child with cancer.
Please donate today to supply specialised books, hospital-friendly resources and the specially-trained teachers a child in hospital with cancer needs.
Sadie’s mum, Mel, can tell you how critical your help for Fight Cancer Foundation’s education support program is:
“When it came to school, we didn’t want Sadie to fall behind. Of course, there were times she was too sick to do any learning, and other times she was simply too miserable. Other times Sadie would get a migraine, and not be able to see, and couldn’t move because if she did, she would vomit.”
Thanks to your help Fight Cancer Foundation’s education support program is flexible to meet each child’s special needs.
When a child is in outpatient clinic, the school sessions you provide can be 30 minutes, even 40 minutes. When a child is on the ward, it’s generally because they are sicker, and so sessions need to be shorter.
The important thing about the help you give is not just what the child learns (so they don’t fall behind at school), but because your help lets them feel like a ‘normal kid’, not the ‘cancer kid’.
Cancer treatment is not easy. Especially for a child.
Sadie’s intensive treatment took 10 months. Dozens of blood tests. Migraines. Vomiting. All the side-effects and pains that come with chemo. Mel still marvels at how her little Sadie coped:
“Sadie was amazing through it all. She was very mature about what was happening to her, and used her strong will for good in her treatment. She could see the things she needed to do, and would do them with few complaints.”
Yet, no matter how much courage a child has with their treatment, the danger remains they can fall behind in school.
They may have to repeat a year. Or always struggle to catch up with the rest of the class. Or need extra support in the classroom that makes them feel like the odd one out.
That’s what is so important about your help today. Your donation of can help fill the gaps in learning so when the child you help goes back to school, they can fit in with their classmates.
Sadie's treatment took 10 long months.
Sadie is now back at school, and started the school year in Grade 5.
Thanks to you, they can use their strength to learn new things, have fun with friends, and become the child they are supposed to be … rather than the sick kid left behind.
The bonus of the help you give now is that you help the child’s mum and dad too. Mel recalls:
“The hospital school gave Sadie some ‘normal kid’ time, and it gave Damien and I time to just take a break, get out of the hospital room and have a coffee and renew our strength.”
Today at least two Australian children will be diagnosed with cancer - 950 children each year.
Their family’s life will be turned upside-down.
All of them need every scrap of energy they have for the journey ahead. Because they are so focused on survival, school may be the furthest thing from their minds.
That’s why YOU are important.
Your donation can help make sure a child in hospital with cancer can keep up with school. Have fun. Focus on something other than the pain.
The good news is Sadie’s treatment went well. She now only needs blood tests every eight weeks. She’s started the year in Grade five, keen to get stuck into her basketball and spend time with her friends. As she does, listen to what Mel asked to share with you:
“When I think about the people who have supported us through this journey, it brings tears to my eyes. It’s overwhelming that people who don’t even know us care about a little family like ours.
They believed in us. They believed in our little girl. It’s like a massive vote of confidence that Sadie would survive, and you can’t imagine just how important that is for us as parents.”
Thank you for everything you do to help families fighting cancer.