Childhood Cancer Support
Childhood Cancer Support began in 1975 when a group of parents with children being treated for leukaemia and cancer at the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane decided to meet formally to discuss ways in which they could help each other and their children. Childhood cancers and leukaemia's are distinctly different from those of adults. Recognising this, the parents identified the needs of children diagnosed with cancers.
As was the case with its formation, unmet and emerging needs identified by parents going through this difficult journey, directed the activities of Childhood Cancer Support. The groups commenced with a focus on advocacy and improvement in treatment facilities, including the need for skilled personnel and specialised equipment. However this focus quickly expanded to include emotional and financial support as families struggled through this journey. Childhood Cancer Support quickly identified the need for specialised residential accommodation for regional families who have to relocate to Brisbane for extended periods of time while their children underwent treatment. With limited funds in the bank, the group obtained a mortgage and in 1976 purchased the first residential facility. The residential facility offered regional families a place to stay, as well as give all families a place to take a break from hospital life, have a shower, cook a meal, and sit in a comfortable chair.
Given the limited knowledge of treatment techniques at the time, Childhood Cancer Support also directed resources to assist with the promotion of research and public education, for as more children began to survive due to continuing improvement in treatment techniques, questions about quality of life and future prospects for the children were recognised as increasingly important.
Childhood Cancer Support has grown over the years into a four-house facility, containing 12 fully self-contained units with additional amenities that allow parents the opportunity to escape the hospital without being too far away. Today treatment for children diagnosed with cancer is more advanced but can stretch from months to many years. The demands on the family are high and the impact extends beyond the family to impact on the community. Because Childhood Cancer Support is family-centred, we support the affected children, their families, and communities through the various stages of the journey, regardless of the outcome for the child.