Having a child diagnosed with cancer is probably one of the most difficult situations a family can undergo. From the onset of the disease to its manifestation, diagnosis, and the treatment process, the focus is consistently on the sick child. For the child, it means several years of coping with treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation, and maybe surgery, with their often unpleasant side-effects. For the parents, it can mean major changes of lifestyle, financial challenges, and psychosocial stress.
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Many siblings affected by the disease suffer of loneliness and isolation from their parents as the parents move from the rural hospital to the referral hospital in the city seeking treatment for the child suffering from cancer. The siblings are often left with relatives for many months on end, and due to competing priorities, suffer neglect, lack of school fees, food, and family love and affection. BCF has started a fund to support the siblings of the children we host in the Akiba Homes.
This money will go towards paying school fees, or buying food for siblings in the rural areas, therefore allowing the parents to focus on the priorities of cancer treatment for the sick child.
We believe this will bring some level of normalcy to the children. We are now targeting to support 30 families with USD 25 per month. Please donate if you wish to support a family affected by cancer.
Our support group effort organises discussions/lecture meetings for parents. These are intended to help them to take care of the sick child. We aim to provide information-packets and books for parents with a combination of: local hospital information, medical information, information on the illness, the drugs used; and psychosocial and practical information on how to cope with the many new stresses and challenges faced.
We also aim to have a comprehensive library of books, magazines, and other material for the parents, and to produce informative newsletters in English and local languages.
BCF funds a person in the treatment centres to support parents by providing consultation, counselling, follow up, etc. This is especially important to those who are less educated, or are not familiar with hospitals and medical treatment.