Childhood Cancer Support is a family-focussed charity that was formed in 1975 when a group of desperate parents, with children being treated for leukaemia and cancer, met to discuss ways of helping each other and their children. Childhood cancers and leukaemia are distinctly different from their adult forms and, recognising this, these visionaries identified the need to help all members of the family when their children were diagnosed with cancer.
At Childhood Cancer Support’s inception, activities were concentrated on the unmet and emerging needs by parents enduring this demanding journey. From the outset the group focused on advocacy and improvement in treatment facilities, including the need for skilled personnel and specialised equipment. But this focus rapidly expanded to include emotional and financial support, as well as the need for specialised residential accommodation for regional families with children undergoing treatment.
Initially funds were limited, but in 1976, the group was successful in obtaining a mortgage and purchasing their first residential facility in Herston, close by the Royal Brisbane Children’s Hospital. This provided regional families with an accommodation solution; enabling them to take a break from hospital life and perform the “normal” things like taking a shower, cooking a meal or just sitting in a comfortable chair.
As one of Queensland’s well-respected charities providing an accommodation solution for regional families whose children are being treated for cancer, Childhood Cancer Support has now grown into a six-house facility comprising 17 fully self-contained family styled units that provides parents with a long-term accommodation alternative. 13 units are located in the leafy suburb of Herston with playground, manicured gardens, a community room and gym; and 4 units in close proximity to the Queensland Children’s Hospital in South Brisbane. All our units are private, comfortable and recently renovated.
Due to the demand in self-contained accommodation units specifically for paediatric oncology families, in 2021, Childhood Cancer Support purchased five houses in East Brisbane to be closer to the Queensland Children’s Hospital. This has been an exciting accommodation development for our families as we transform these houses into 15 self-contained family styled units.
In addition, Childhood Cancer Support provides short-term accommodation in our modern house in South Brisbane (just a 5-10 minute walk from the Queensland Children’s Hospital) for families that have returned home and need to come to Brisbane for regular medical check-ups.
See our South Brisbane short-term accommodation facilities here.
Nowadays, childhood cancer treatment is far more cutting-edge, but can still stretch on for months or even years, and the high familial demands can extend beyond the family to impact on the community. However, Childhood Cancer Support is strongly family-focused, and we support the affected children, their families and communities throughout each stage of the journey, regardless of the outcome for the child.