Almost without exception, it was the most amazing day Heidi and I had ever experienced. As I have mentioned in previous posts, we have a strong commitment to trying to improving the comfort of those having chemotherapy and anti cancer treatments. But neither of us had ever met children having chemotherapy treatment before. Heidi was afraid she may burst into tears and I was panicking the children would think the kits were rubbish.
A kind donor had asked her friends to purchase or contribute towards a Children’s Chemotherapy Kit rather than gifts for her 60 th birthday. She then asked if we would distribute them to those who needed them at the Royal Children’s Hospital. After a few small tweaks to the contents of the kit, the Children’s Hospital couldn’t have been more helpful.
Wherever we went we were met with friendly, welcoming smiles. The children were little rays of sunshine, showing amazing resilience through some of the toughest treatment regimens cancer researchers can muster, truly inspirational. What I was also struck with was the amazing strength of the children’ parents. They were happy to chat about their stories and in the short time I was there, it was clear the mum’s provide a solid support network for one another. After all, who else could possible understand the rollercoaster of emotions they are experiencing. We left all the richer for the experience, humbled, with a warm glow – the one you get when you know you’ve done something good. And with our problems sharply back into perspective.
That evening, Heidi and I continued to text each other about the day we’d had, whilst cooking the dinner and bathing kids. We were both processing and reflecting on the day we’d had. We have another donation going to our local Medical Oncology Unit soon, we’re just trying to firm up dates, hopefully by the next post.
And perhaps with all this giving we might move towards a Not-for-Profit organisation. Heidi and I dream about it sometimes but we’re not there yet I don’t think.
About Sharon Schreurs, Practical Care
Practical Care was born in 2014 after founders, Sharon Schreurs and Heidi Green wanted to create a Chemotherapy Care Kit to help with the most common side effects of chemotherapy, with a purely practical focus.
As an oncology nurse, Sharon would commonly write a list of practical items for patients when starting treatment. Over the years, this list became extensive. And although helpful, these items are not always readily available.
When Heidi’s mother in law was diagnosed with breast cancer, she experienced the running around. Together, they hope to improve patient’s comfort at a difficult time by providing things they are likely to need.