Families with children receiving cancer treatment often face a difficult journey and time spent away from home. Thanks to a local charity, this journey will now be a little bit easier.
Our Kids are providing Welcome Home Packs to families who have had to travel out of Northern NSW for children to receive their treatment.
Often this can place significant strain on local families, as parents juggle their other caring responsibilities with looking after their sick child. Treatment can sometimes last for up to two years or more.
The Board of Our Kids, led by Chair Suzette Pearce, recognised a need to support families during this time, and worked with local oncology nurse practitioner, Kris Liebke to come up with a solution.
The Our Kids Oncology Welcome Home Pack includes supermarket vouchers for food to restock cupboards, petrol vouchers to help with transportation costs, a voucher for clothes, a voucher to a local restaurant and an age appropriate gift for the child.
Recognising the psychological strain that cancer treatment also places on families, the Welcome Home Pack also includes a step by step guide on how to request and access tailored counselling support.
The information is designed to inform families of the services available to them, so they can work with their doctor to develop a shared care plan that’s right for their circumstances.
Clinical Psychologist, Matt Wagner, is one local practitioner who has come on board, offering his expertise as part of this initiative.
The estimated value of each Pack is around $1,000.
Byron Bay Coffee, a generous supporter or Our Kids and Our House, has also donated $5,000 to help sponsor the Welcome Home Packs.
By removing some of the financial burden, the packs will allow families to concentrate on re-establishing themselves back in their own community.
“I believe that these packs from Our Kids will make a very significant and real difference to local families,” said Kris Liebke, Nurse Practitioner Oncology/Haematology at the Lismore Base Hospital Cancer Care and Haematology Unit.
“Most importantly, they tell the families that their local community cares.”
Suzette Pearce, Chair of Our Kids, said they are continually looking for opportunities to support families with children who are undergoing medical treatment within the community.
“By giving these families a Welcome Home pack we hope that they will feel that they are not alone and that their community is here to support them.”
If you would like to know more about the Welcome Home Pack project or would like to join Bryon Bay Coffee and sponsor a pack, please contact Our Kids on 6620 2705.