Children’s Hospital refers families to Childcan immediately after diagnosis so that they know we are here to help, providing support as soon as possible after they are faced with the news. At our first meeting, we provide each family with a Childcan Care Package, which includes:
· Information explaining programs and support services offered by Childcan
· A hospital parking pass for the time their child is on active treatment
· A special hand-made quilt donated by quilters from our region
· Gas, pharmacy and other gift cards to help with immediate costs of treatment
· A booklet listing other available support resources
In addition to the hospital parking pass provided in the Childcan Care Package, the Parking Program provides:
· Parking tokens for offsite satellite clinics at Windsor Regional Hospital and Kitchener’s Grand River Hospital
· Parking reimbursement for families travelling from the region to Toronto’s SickKids Hospital for treatment unavailable locally
This program provides two meal vouchers per day, per family while their child is an in-patient at Children’s Hospital, LHSC, alleviating one more treatment-related expense.
This program is made possible with support from Preferred Insurance, insuring that everyone is covered during their stay.
An application process facilitated through the paediatric oncology team of social work, Interlink community nurse and family support associate helps us provide support for urgent financial needs made untenable by the costs associated with treatment, as well as the direct treatment-related costs of temporary and long-term care. This program provides financial support to assist with expenses such as:
· Assistive devices
· Rent and mortgage payments
· Utility bills
· Grocery costs
· Travel costs
This program was developed to support families whose child has earned their “angel wings” much too soon. It includes:
· Financial support to assist with funeral costs.
· Access to group or individual bereavement counselling.
Childcan hosts informal parent support group sessions, providing parents with the opportunity to gather and support one another.
Throughout the year, Childcan’s social support includes fun-filled family events and activities, including:
· Annual day trip to Canada’s Wonderland for the entire family
· Annual Christmas parties in London and Windsor
Registration is now OPEN for the 2018 Childcan Family Trip to Canada’s Wonderland, taking place on Friday, July 13.
Childcan organizes special dinners for families who are in the hospital during the holidays.
The Volunteer Tutoring Program is a no-cost tutoring program for students in grades 1 through 10 who are off treatment and back in school. The tutoring targets mathematics and/or English as well as offering homework assistance, helping students to catch up on schooling missed during treatment. Find out more in our flyer.
Currently being piloted, the Early Years Program is being designed to help children aged 3-8 to overcome delays resulting from their cancer and prepare them for school entry or re-entry. The program's focus is on social, emotional, literacy, numeracy and motor skills development.
Resource kits have been developed with toys, books and activities specifically designed to enhance school readiness, and are available to be borrowed by our families. Additional kits and resources that concentrate on developing gross and fine motor skills are also available. If you are in or going to be in the London area and are interested in borrowing a kit or learning more, please contact Jackie Kinder.
Additional resources are available through various programs throughout our catchment area. A number of these Early Years Resource Centres are listed.
Through frequent hospital visits, over-the-phone and in-person support, Childcan staff are there to help families and children through a journey they should never have to face.
Families whose children are diagnosed and living with cancer are always seeking information to better understand the disease and their options. They feel empowered with knowledge to help guide their children and their family through their journey.
We help steer families in the right direction when looking for support agencies, existing government programs, or credible resources
Working in collaboration with individuals and organizations locally, regionally and provincially, we continue to advocate for children with cancer, supporting awareness-raising activities during September, now officially recognized as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and throughout the year.
Among our funding priorities is support for the Pediatric Oncology Research Unit as Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre. As a member of a collaboration of the 16 pediatric hematology/oncology teams across Canada tasked with providing greater access to clinical trials to children across the country, the pediatric oncology team requires support to enhance their research unit and provide our children with investigational treatments closer to home. Without this, children and families from Children’s Hospital had to travel to Toronto to participate in any such trial – participation that could be economically and logistically difficult, if not impossible. We have been able to successfully fund the first year of these clinical trials, through a grant from the Isabel Hodgkinson Fund within London Community Foundation and additional support from our community through our signature events. We are now raising funds to ensure the sustainability of the research program.
Late in 2016, Childcan initiated a pilot program covering a portion of medical travel to unscheduled hospital visits or admissions. The intention of the program is to offset the void left by changes to the Canadian Cancer Society’s medical transportation program, and to be used only when the volunteer driver program, “Wheels of Hope”, is not applicable. For more details, please see the registration form
We are in the early stages of a developing a parent-focused website where parents share their experiences with childhood cancer. We hope this will be a valuable reference for parents of newly-diagnosed children or for those anywhere along this journey.
We invite anyone interested in sharing to download, complete and submit our Questionnaire. We are very grateful to you for your help in developing what we hope will be an invaluable resource for other families. Thank you!