How to help a young girl with leukemia, and her parents
July 14, 2011 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Suggestions for how to help out with a family dealing with a brand new Leukemia diagnosis?

My SO's good friend and her partner have a three year old daughter who was *very* recently diagnosed with Leukemia and has just started chemotherapy. I thought I'd ask any members who've been through a situation like this what kinds of help they either received and were super-grateful for, or wish they'd had. If you have been a friendly support of someone in a situation like this I'd like to know about your experience as well.

I know that the parents are well supported by their families, and we have a good children's hospital here. They're not wanting for basics like food while they're at the hospital. But I don't know really what comes next or how one would help.

I think they have a website up helping them arrange for food and blood donations in the coming months, but I'm thinking of maybe more 'personal' or 'thoughful' gifts or gestures. Any ideas are welcome.

I'm not sure if it matters, but the diagnosis is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
posted by jpziller to Human Relations (3 answers total)
When one of my kids was hospitalized, here's what helped:

* lots of frozen healthy meals, also lots of fruit and vegetable salads (it's really easy to eat hospital crap);
* coming over and doing my laundry and cleaning;
* taking care of my pets; and
* a friend took over as the official contact person so I didn't have to keep repeating to everyone how my son was doing;

and while I am not a religious person, I felt incredibly thankful and touched when a friend told me that she was praying for my son's recovery.

Here's what didn't help:

* offers of "Let me know what I can do to help;"
* special presents for my son and (for some reason) a handmade quilt for the family. Once he was home, we just got depressed looking at those things.
posted by kinetic at 2:32 PM on July 14, 2011

Sign up to be a bone marrow donor in her honor. She doesn't need it now, and odds are that if she does you won't be a match, but you might be able to help some other kid with Leukemia.
posted by Apoch at 5:23 PM on July 14, 2011

Arrange a blood drive and/or bone marrow drive at your church, school, community center or whatever. People will come out in *droves* to donate for a child.

In terms of the website portion, are they using it to update everyone about the kid's progress? If not, can you either get set up as an admin or create a Facebook page or Caring Bridge profile?

Do they have any other children? The healthy sibs often feel left out when one kid is sick. Offer to babysit and do fun things with healthy sibs so they get special attention too.
posted by radioamy at 10:33 AM on July 15, 2011

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