Childhood Cancer

Your Child in the Hospital

Chapter 11: Family and Friends: How to Help

“We can do no great things—only small things with great love.”

— Mother Theresa

A CHILD’S SERIOUS SICKNESS OR INJURY can overwhelm a family— affecting finances, emotions, and time with siblings. Help from friends and relatives is a crucial part of the family’s ability to cope with the disruption in their lives.

Many relatives and friends genuinely want to help, but don’t know how. The following sections describe helpful things you can do for a family with a child in the hospital. Although some of the suggestions listed are most appropriate when dealing with lengthy illnesses or recoveries, they may give you some good ideas for any hospitalization.