It’s hard to know what to do or say, but you can help ease the pain of childhood leukemia with these gifts for parents of kids with cancer.
A practical gift for parents is Happily Hungry: Smart Recipes for Kids with Cancer by Danielle Cook Navidi. The recipes are dedicated to children undergoing cancer treatment and recovery, and contain nutrient-dense dishes that combine great taste with powerful immune-building ingredients.
Kids with cancer might be able to eat the foods in this recipe book, which will help set the stage to fight the disease and recover from the effects of chemotherapy treatments and childhood leukemia. It might be even more helpful if you bought this book for yourself, and made the recipes for the kid. This would make the parents’ life easier – which is a gift all parents will appreciate.
If you’re not sure what to say when you offer cards or gifts for parents of kids with cancer, read Get Well Soon Messages and Gifts for Cancer Patients. Sometimes expressing your sympathy and support is easier when you have a few ideas in front of you.
After I wrote this article, I received this email:
“Your gifts for parents of kids with cancer really touched my heart,” said Cynthia. “I lost my cousin to an aggressive form of leukemia and I am now fighting cancer myself. These are great gift ideas and tips, especially about being persistent.
When a person faces such a hard struggle, they may not know what would help, so your idea of offering specific options is right on target. Some of the things that seem little or easy to do may mean the most.
When I was undergoing radiation therapy, one of my best friends emailed inspirational scripture to me daily, and it really helped me keep my spirits up.”
Gifts for Parents of Kids With Cancer
These tips and gift ideas for helping parents cope with childhood leukemia range from practical (donate money to help with hospital parking, give gifts to help with healing) to spiritual (pray for strength, courage, and peace).
Be prepared to help at all hours
If you’re close friends with the parents of a kid with cancer, you know that the bonds of friendship involve a readiness to help at all hours and at all costs. True friends come through with gifts of time, friendship, and support despite inconvenience and discomfort. True friends know what is needed and are prepared to serve even if they have to get out of a comfy warm bed in the middle of the night.
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Being available and willing to help at any time is one of the best things you can do.
One of the most practical gifts for parents of kids with cancer is a Amazon Gift Card via Email. They may not have time or energy to shop, and will find the convenience of online orders of whatever they need invaluable.
Give practical gift cards, such as for groceries, gas or parking lots. Also, give gift cards that aren’t for one specific type of product, such as Starbucks. The more general your gift card is, the more likely it’ll be used – which is why I suggest Amazon gift cards.
Persist with and for them
Keep offering different gifts and resources even if you think you’re not being helpful. For example, if the parents need money for parking at the hospital or to pay for chemotherapy treatments, don’t let them raise money alone.
Persist on their behalf – call a church, talk to local non-profit organizations that help kids with cancer, raise money among your friends and family. Keep asking for the help the parents need, and be strong for them.
Give practical gifts – slippers, socks, warm fuzzy bathrobes
A practical gift for kids with cancer is slippers with grip on the feet – such as Non Skid / Slip Hospital Socks – and warm blankets and bathrobes. Sometimes their bedclothes get messy, and a fresh pair of pajamas, blankets, or socks would be awesome!
If the child likes Frozen, think about something like Disney Girl’s Frozen Blue Bathrobe.
One of the best gifts for parents of kids with cancer is time and space to talk. Take him or her out for coffee or dinner – or bring it to the hospital, along with a bottle of wine – and say that you are here to listen to everything and anything they have to say. Then be quiet. Let them talk about how awful it is. Let them cry – because leukemia in children is something we need to weep and grieve. Be there. Don’t let your fear of not knowing what to say keep you away. Be the friend who keeps knocking, and who is persistent in offering love and support.
You may find the words of comfort and wisdom in How to Comfort a Friend Whose Mom Has Cancer helpful.
Keep sending encouragement to parents of kids with cancer
My friends whose daughter has childhood leukemia asked us to keep praying, and keep sending cards, writing Facebook messages, and making supportive comments on their blog posts. Encouragement and hope are in short supply when you’re the parents of kids with cancer, and friends need to send as much hope and faith as possible! This is a practical gift for parents of kids with cancer because it keeps them strong and energized.
A huge cheerful stuffed animal
Sometimes the best gifts for parents of kids with cancer is something cheerful for the kid. A Melissa & Doug Huge Plush Giraffe could become the kid’s “guardian angel”, and offer hope, comfort, and security in the middle of a long night in the cancer ward of the hospital.
Never underestimate the power of a stuffed animal. Kids love animals, and are often immediately comforted by the sight of a stuffy.
Donate money for hospital parking, groceries, etc
A practical gift for parents of kids with cancer is cash. Even if the chemotherapy treatments are paid for, being in the hospital and even just visiting a clinic for chemo can get very expensive. To help parents of kids with cancer, donate $100 cash for parking, gas, food, etc.
Spend time with the other children in the family
What do the parents’ other children need? Are they in school, do they need rides to soccer practice, music lessons, friends’ houses? Ask the parents how you can support the rest of the family in practical ways. Cancer affects the whole family – even the family pets. Does the dog need walks, the cat need a litterbox change?
Help with household chores
If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning the house, walking the dogs, buying groceries, or maintaining the yard, then hire outside help. Check with the parents first, though. This is one of the most practical gifts for parents of kids coping with childhood leukemia, because it eases the burden of household drudgery.
Food for parents
Making time to eat nutritious food isn’t a priority. A Dried Fruit and Nuts Gift Tray is a good gift for parents of kids with cancer because it’s convenient and easy, and the food won’t go bad.
You could always cook a meal and bring it to the hospital – but it might be good to check in advance. The beauty of a food gift basket or tray is that it will keep for weeks.
Remember that childhood leukemia is a long journey
It’s a long process that takes months, or even years: getting diagnosed with cancer, undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy, and recovering from the side effects. Don’t assume that the worst is over, even if Facebook isn’t being updated and the blog posts aren’t being published.
This tips for helping a parent survive childhood leukemia will be helpful for months after the initial onslaught of chemotherapy and hospital trips are over. Be there for the long haul, not just the storm.
Don’t stop praying for kids with cancer
Prayer doesn’t seem like you’re doing much to support parents who are coping with childhood leukemia, but don’t stop praying! If you aren’t a prayer warrior, consider a more practical gift for parents of a kid with cancer, such as Childhood Leukemia: A Guide for Families, Friends & Caregivers. In it, Nancy Keene offers:
- Updates on treatment, including stem cell transplants, information about tailoring drugs dosages to children’s genetic profiles, and new methods for dealing with side effects.
- Practical advice on how to cope with medical procedures, hospitalization, school, family, and financial issues that childhood leukemia brings.
- Suggestions on ways to form a partnership with the medical team.
- Stories from family members who have coped with childhood leukemia and its treatments.
- Updated resources for medical information about children with leukemia, emotional support, and financial assistance.
- A pull out medical record-keeper.
Parents who read this book will find understandable medical infomation, obtain advice that eases their daily life, and feel empowered to be strong advocates for their child.
One final gift for parents of kids with cancer
Ask God for strength, peace, and faith. Seek Him in the little things, such as a restful few hours of sleep or the ability to keep food down. Knock on Heaven’s door, don’t stop asking God for healing and courage. And, above all, be open to accepting His will for the life of the kid with cancer.
This is the hardest part of offering help and support: accepting and surrendering to the reality of what is. Childhood leukemia is curable, but it is a long journey.
For more ideas, read 10 Thoughtful Gifts for Caregivers.
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I welcome your thoughts on these gifts for parents of kids with cancer. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it may help you to share your experience.