Best Childhood Cancer Charities
Best Childhood Cancer Charities That Impacted Us & Hendrix Directly
A few people have mentioned their unease with donating funds direct to childhood cancer charities. Because, how do they know what the money is going towards?
They had no issue sending us money or buying a shirt from us. Seeing our story on social media, knowing me, or someone that knows me, and they felt more of a connection to Hendrix, than to a childhood cancer charity that they could not relate to.
In this post I will share a few childhood cancer charities and organisations that made a huge impact on Hendrix’s battle with Rhabdomyosarcoma. Exactly what they did to support us. And even some organisations that have continued to help us, after Hendrix has passed.
I know it seems a little odd to be promoting other childhood cancer charities, when I have openly discussed that I am working towards getting What The Hell registered with ACNC. Other charities working to raising funds for childhood cancer research would be competition right?
Nope. Not at all. Not even a little.
We are one giant ass team, working towards the same goal. Whether you buy a shirt from us, or donate to Redkite instead, I don’t mind. If I can ease any concerns you have about donating to these charities, or even give you ideas on a few new ones you can donate to, I am stoked!
Without further ado, here are a few of the best childhood cancer charities in my humble opinion.
Best Childhood Cancer Charities: Redkite
Redkite is Australia’s leading childhood cancer support charity. Redkite's Tagline is “A lifeline for families facing childhood cancer”.
They are 100% a lifeline! Redkite was the first charity we encountered and one of the ones that made the greatest impact on us.
How did Redkite help us personally?
Within a week of Hendrix being diagnosed, we received the Redkite Red bag - dubbed the “welcome to cancer pack” by our Queensland Children’s Hospital Oncology Social Worker.
This bag was amazing. Because, not only was it filled with a bunch of things I knew I needed in hospital (toothpaste, shampoo & conditioner etc), there were also things that I had not thought of yet and started using immediately like an undated planner that helped me keep track of all of the procedures, treatments and side effects Hendrix experienced.
What other services do they offer families impacted by childhood cancer?
There were other services offered to us that we didn’t get a chance to take advantage of before Hendrix lost his fight with childhood cancer.
- Counselling & Social Work
- Financial assistance - Amenities bills being paid for
- Grief and bereavement support
- Connect groups - to meet others in a similar situation
- Book club - age appropriate books to help tackle tough cancer related topics
Admittedly - we did not deal with Redkite directly, so we could have received a few of above without realising becuase the hospital social workers requested a lot on our behalf. We did get a few books from our social workers while we were in the hospital which could have been donated by Redkite.
You can donate directly to Redkite here.
Best Childhood Cancer Charities: Zero
Zero is the most comprehensive personalised medicine program for children in the world. We had the unfortunate pleasure of being one of the families that worked with Zero. I say unfortunate because, only a limited amount of cases a year are able to be taken on, due to Zero’s limited resources. They take on the children with the lowest survival rates. And becuase Hendrix had such a rare and aggressive Cancer, he made the cut.
How Did Zero help us personally?
They took sample tissue of several of Hendrix’s tumours and started a mouse model. Unfortunately, this process takes time. And, Hendrix did not live long enough for us to get the results that could help him.
Zero aims to have all children diagnosed with Cancer in Australia, enrolled in their personalised medicine programme by the end of 2023.
You can donate to Zero Directly here.
Best Childhood Cancer Charities: Hummingbird House
Hummingbird House is the only children’s hospice in all of Queensland, and one of only three in Australia. Although they are not a specific childhood cancer charity. They service children with cancer and their families immensely.
How did Hummingbird House help us personally?
We learned of Hummingbird house once Hendrix was declared terminal. Once Hendrix was stable after his two brain surgeries we spent about a month with them. I wish I could put into words how much we truly appreciate the difference they made at such a horrible point in our lives.
The facilities are beautiful! They have everything you could need, a heated indoor pool, huge media room, an outdoors play area with toys, bikes, swings, and a slide, a herb garden, arts and craft area and a staffed kitchen.
A few of the things they did for us:
- Fed us three meals a day + snacks whenever we wanted
- Made barista coffees whenever we liked. They would even bring them to our room if we asked for them
- Took care of all of Hendrix’s medications making sure he got the correct dose at the correct time so I did not need to stress about it
- Doctors reviewed Hendrix twice a week, more if needed
- Our Nurse practitioner reviewed Hendrix every weekday
- Had an abundance of toys for Zee to play with as well as staff to help keep him entertained, play games with him etc
- Nurses were on shift 24/7 for anything I might need. If I had a bit of a panic at 3am thinking something was wrong with Hendrix, I could press a button and a nurse would be there within a couple of minutes
- The nursing staff were happy to hold Hendrix whenever I needed a break (which wasn’t often and they actually had to ask if they could sneak a cuddle as I barely gave him up)
- Counselling and families support officers who continue to check in on us months after Hendrix has passed
I can honestly not speak any more highly of this organisation. They, truely go above and beyond for all of their families. Some of their staff even attended Hendrix’s service.
Best Childhood Cancer Charities: Kids Cancer Project
The Kids Cancer Project does a lot of things in the childhood cancer research space. They are very science focused and have several grants a year they give to childhood cancer research projects.
How did The Kids Cancer Project Help us directly?
Other than the impactful work they do researching better treatment options for childhood cancer. They have an amazing bear initiative where your are able to purchase a bear, and have it sent direct to a hospital for a child diagnosed with Cancer.
Hendrix had the Baby Activity Bear given to him by one of the nurses in the Oncology ward at the Queensland Childrens Hospital and he absolutely loved it. It is one of the few toys I have kept of his, and it sits up on my pillow.