Childhood Cancer Support was formed in 1975 when a group of desperate parents, with children being treated for leukemia and cancer, met to discuss ways of helping each other and their children. Childhood cancers and leukemia are distinctly different from their adult forms and, recognising this, these visionaries identified the need to help children that had been diagnosed.
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. 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.
Childhood Cancer Support has now grown into a six-house facility comprising 17 fully self-contained units that provide parents with an accommodation alternative located close to the hospital. 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.