“We never thought we’d ever need their help, but the sad reality is that any parent may need Childhood Cancer Support to provide a village to get them through the worst time of their lives while so far from home.”
The Connelly family live in the small community of Clermont Queensland and first heard about Childhood Cancer Support ten years ago when doing a fundraiser for another child in their town who was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Teacher and mum, Jess Connelly recalls “I knew they helped families in need, but I never thought our family would need their help.”
In 2020, their son Mackenna was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at just four years of age.
“Physically and emotionally, we were consumed with grief at the thought of our worst nightmare unfolding in front of us. It’s your child they’re talking about, your baby after all. No child, no parent should have to go through it.” Jess said.
“Our family, my husband and I and our 3 young boys, had to uproot from Clermont, our hometown, to Brisbane for treatment. We moved 1000km away from home and everyone we know and love. Away from all of our support networks during the most difficult time of our lives.”
The Connelly family stayed with Childhood Cancer Support in a three-bedroom home away from home for three months while Mackenna received treatment at the Queensland Children’s Hospital. They were provided with transport, information, activities for the kids, groceries, counselling, and a connection to a community of other families who were living a similar experience.
Families should never have to face adversity alone with no direction. Childhood Cancer Support is imperative in allowing families to deal with the hardest part, the cancer diagnosis, without having the extra logistics to worry about on top of it all. There was no doubt we needed accommodation and Childhood Cancer Support were there for us.