No one wants to hear the words, “You have cancer!”. Especially when it is said about a child and to a child’s family. Adjusting to a child’s cancer diagnosis and finding ways to stay strong is challenging for everyone in a family. Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death among children, following only injuries.
Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer, representing about 33% of childhood cancers.
It is estimated that there are 350,000 adult survivors of childhood cancer in the United States.
Children who survive cancer have more years than adults to develop long-term consequences of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which include
· Poor growth
· Cardiac damage
· Development of second cancers (in 3 to 12% of survivors)
· Psychosocial effects1
The challenges for pediatric cancer patients persist for the duration of treatment – on average about three years.
-Having to shuffle between treatments, doctor appointments, and various medical facilities for an extended period of time, often over long distances.
-Disruption in their normal psychosocial development.
-Isolation from friends, family, and school.
The impact of being diagnosed with cancer and the intensity of the treatment is overwhelming to the child and family.
83.5% of families fighting childhood cancer will suffer some type of financial hardship.
The stress can be overwhelming as the parents attend to the needs of the child with cancer while trying to manage medical bills, be an advocate, work, and keep up with life.
Jenny Olson knows all too well how cancer can take its toll on a family.
Watch or listen to the full episode to hear more from Jenny about how her son’s cancer diagnosis changed their life. Will’s story is amazing!
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Cover Image Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash
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