You can help ease the heartbreak of childhood leukemia with these gifts and tips for helping parents. Coping with leukemia in children is painful, but it is easier to bear if you’re not alone. My friends’ child was recently diagnosed with leukemia, and I’ve been searching for ways to help them.
A practical gift for parents is Happily Hungry: Smart Recipes for Kids with Cancer by Danielle Cook Navidi. The recipes are dedicated to children undergoing cancer treatment and recovery, and contain nutrient-dense dishes that combine great taste with powerful immune-building ingredients. Kids with cancer will enjoy eating, and the food will help set the stage to more effectively battle cancer and recover from the effects of chemotherapy treatments and childhood leukemia. Regardless where the kids are on their cancer journey, parents will find something useful and uplifting in this book.
One of Jesus’ parables served as inspiration for these gifts and ideas for helping parents cope with childhood leukemia – but the tips aren’t just for Christians. They range from practical gifts for parents of kids with cancer to creative ways to be supportive and helpful.
If you’re looking for gifts to help a kid through childhood leukemia, you might find 20 Practical Gifts for Cancer Patients helpful.
The Parable of the Persistent Friend
Imagine what would happen if you went to a friend in the middle of the night and said, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread. An old friend traveling through just showed up, and I don’t have a thing on hand.’ The friend answers from his bed, ‘Don’t bother me. The door’s locked; my children are all down for the night; I can’t get up to give you anything.’ But let me tell you, even if he won’t get up because he’s a friend, if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he’ll finally get up and get you whatever you need.
Ask and you’ll get; Seek and you’ll find; Knock and the door will open. Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need….Don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?
This parable of Jesus is from Luke 11:5-13, The Message.
10 Gifts for Parents of Children With Leukemia
These tips and gift ideas for helping parents cope with a kid with cancer range from practical (donate money to help with hospital parking, give gifts to help with healing) to spiritual (pray for strength, courage, and peace).
Be prepared to help at all hours
If you’re true friends with the parents of a kid with cancer, you know that the bonds of friendship involve a readiness to help at all hours and at all costs. True friends come through with gifts of time, friendship, and support despite inconvenience and discomfort. True friends know what is needed and are prepared to serve even if they have to get out of a comfy warm bed in the middle of the night. This is the obvious way to put this parable into practice!
Persist in helping parents of kids with cancer
In the parable, Jesus stressed the importance of bold persistence. Keep asking the parents what help they need, and keep offering different gifts and resources even if you wonder if you’re not helping as much as you’d like. For example, if the parents need money for parking at the hospital or to pay for chemotherapy treatments for childhood leukemia, don’t let them raise money alone. Persist on their behalf – call a church, talk to local non-profit organizations that help kids with cancer, raise money among your friends and family. Keep asking for the help the parents need, and be strong for them.
One of the best gifts you can give the parents of kids with cancer is time and space to talk. Take him or her out for coffee or dinner – or bring it to the hospital, along with a bottle of wine – and say that you are here to listen to everything and anything they have to say. Then be quiet. Let them talk about how awful it is. Let them cry – because leukemia in children is something we need to weep and grieve. Be there. Don’t let your fear of not knowing what to say keep you away. Be the friend who keeps knocking, and who is persistent in offering love and support.
Keep sending encouragement to parents of kids with cancer
My friends whose daughter has childhood leukemia asked us to keep praying, and keep sending cards, writing Facebook messages, and making supportive comments on their blog posts. Encouragement and hope are in short supply when you’re the parents of kids with cancer, and friends need to send as much hope and faith as possible! This is a practical gift for parents of kids with cancer because it keeps them strong and energized.
Give practical gifts – slippers or socks and a warm fuzzy bathrobe
A practical gift for kids with cancer is slippers with grip on the feet – such as Non Skid / Slip Hospital Socks – and warm blankets and bathrobes. Sometimes their bedclothes get messy, and a fresh pair of pajamas, blankets, or socks would be awesome!
If the child likes Frozen, think about something like Disney Girl’s Frozen Blue Bathrobe.
Donate money for hospital parking, groceries, etc
A practical gift for parents of kids with cancer is cash. Even if the chemotherapy treatments are paid for, being in the hospital and even just visiting a clinic for chemo can get very expensive. To help parents of kids with cancer, donate $100 cash for parking, gas, food, etc.
Spend time with about the other children in the family
What do the parents’ other children need? Are they in school, do they need rides to soccer practice, music lessons, friends’ houses? Ask the parents how you can support the rest of the family in practical ways. Leukemia in children affects the whole family – even the family pets.
Help with household chores
If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning the house, walking the dogs, buying groceries, or maintaining the yard, then hire outside help. Check with the parents first, though. This is one of the most practical gifts for parents of kids coping with childhood leukemia, because it eases the burden of household drudgery.
Remember that childhood leukemia is a long journey
It’s a long process that takes months, or even years: getting diagnosed with cancer, undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy, and recovering from the side effects. Don’t assume that the worst is over, even if Facebook isn’t being updated and the blog posts aren’t being published. These tips for supporting a parent through childhood leukemia will be helpful for months after the initial onslaught of chemotherapy and hospital trips are over. Be there for the long haul, not just the storm.
Don’t stop praying for kids with cancer
I know that prayer doesn’t seem like you’re doing much to support parents who are coping with childhood leukemia, but don’t stop praying! If you aren’t a prayer warrior, consider a more practical gift for parents of a kid with cancer, such as Childhood Leukemia: A Guide for Families, Friends & Caregivers. In it, Nancy Keene offers:
- Updates on treatment, including stem cell transplants, information about tailoring drugs dosages to children’s genetic profiles, and new methods for dealing with side effects.
- Practical advice on how to cope with medical procedures, hospitalization, school, family, and financial issues that childhood leukemia brings.
- Suggestions on ways to form a partnership with the medical team.
- Stories from family members who have coped with childhood leukemia and its treatments.
- Updated resources for medical information about children with leukemia, emotional support, and financial assistance.
- A pull out medical record-keeper.
Parents who read this book will find understandable medical infomation, obtain advice that eases their daily life, and feel empowered to be strong advocates for their child.
Back to the Jesus’ parable: ask God for strength, peace, and faith. Seek the Kingdom of God in the little things, such as a restful few hours of sleep or the ability to keep food down. Knock on Heaven’s door, don’t stop asking God for healing and courage. And, above all, be open to accepting His will for the life of the kid with cancer. This is the hardest part of helping: accepting and surrendering to the reality of what is. Childhood leukemia is curable, but it is a long journey of fighting cancer and recovering good health.
I welcome your thoughts on these gifts and tips for helping parents when a child has leukemia. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it may help you to share your experience with childhood leukemia.