When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the whole family faces challenges they never knew existed – but they also find love and strength they didn’t know they had. Here, parents share how they have experienced and offered love throughout their child’s cancer journey.
Showing Love Through Family and Community Support
A child’s cancer diagnosis sends a ripple effect through everyone who loves them – but when you’re a parent or family member of a child with cancer, it can be hard to balance your own emotions while remaining a steady source of support.
“I think cancer dads need to know they are needed, loved and appreciated. While mom is often the go-to parent, it does not negate the importance of what our children’s dads do. Walking the floors of the hospital, being steadfast in faith, working when work seems inconsequential, being not the voice of reason but that of ‘beat it against all odds’ ... and through it all being the daddy their kiddos see as their hero. For 1000 little reasons.” – Cat
“The impact childhood cancer has on the family as a whole is not something that anyone can be prepared for. The whirlwind that follows a family along this journey can only try to be conveyed to family and friends. However, we have been overwhelmed and surprised by the amount of support that is out there. There are so many great people that are willing to support the families as much as they possibly can.” – Kyle
“By opening up, I learned a lot about myself and about how to handle trials and big problems. It took a lot of work, from myself, from my community and from my own family, to remold me and reshape me into a person who could allow others to come in and help. But letting others in allows my family to get what they need from our community, and it makes us feel less alone.” - Tamer
Showing Love Through Spirituality
For many families, faith and spirituality is their foundation for hope, gratitude and love during times of uncertainty. Through all the chemotherapy, surgery recovery, painful physical therapy sessions and weeks in the hospital, many families find solace from their faith.
“I changed my focus back to what I had: a son who, through his suffering, taught me what faith and courage really look like, and a family who taught me that I can live through anything with their support and love.” - Laura
“The child who brings me the most heartache, anxiety and fear is the one who can show me and convince me he is okay. He shows me that no matter what, things will be okay on earth or in heaven. Caring for Connor is the best and hardest job I could ever have.” - Mindy
“I thank God with all of my heart for every morning I get to see my baby come down the stairs and tell me ‘Good Morning, Dad’. I never leave him without giving him a hug, a kiss and telling him ‘I love you’.” – Shane
Showing Love Through Gratitude
It can sometimes feel impossible to experience gratitude when cancer has turned your world upside down. But cancer has a way of changing how we see things – sometimes even for the better. The things you appreciate now might have slid right past you before cancer was a part of your child’s life. You might even come to appreciate things you rolled your eyes at before. Cancer has a way of helping us focus on the good by holding on tight to every happy moment.
“I have the gift of perspective, I see the positive side of almost anything. I am grateful and I am not afraid to express my appreciation. I try not to take anything for granted.” – Ash
“I am more grateful for the small things in life! A note from your son or text from your daughter who is two hours away in college means everything. Cherish the time you have with your family and friends!” – Susan
Showing Love Through Acts of Service
When we’re talking about something as big as love, we don’t always have the right words to describe exactly how we feel about someone. Showing someone love through hugs, snuggles, home-cooked meals and other acts of service are ways of telling them how much you care when you don’t have the words.
“Cancer can make us feel so powerless, and I think a lot of us show love in the ways we choose to give back. Whether it’s funding research, providing emotional support to other families or volunteering at the hospital, all of these efforts are ways we show our love to others.” – Kim
“I was never really a snuggler – until cancer. There were weeks when I couldn’t even touch my toddler due to his pain levels. When I could finally hold him again, I vowed to never take those hugs, snuggles, sticky hands and all, for granted.” – Kimberly
“I have developed much deeper empathy towards others and I have discovered, in a deep way, that giving of yourself really helps fill you up. I am a 100% changed person. I see past the small stuff now – I have a completely altered perspective.” – Julie
Your story of childhood cancer is powerful - it can raise awareness for what is needed in the world of childhood cancer research and even encourage fundraising for vital research projects. See how your story can make an impact by filling out our Share Your Story form.