Children with acute leukaemia
If your child has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia, there are many sources of support during this difficult time, including:
- hospital staff who specialise in working with children. They can offer valuable advice and support. Some hospitals also have child life therapists or play, music or art therapists.
- organisations such as CanTeen, Camp Quality, Redkite and the Leukaemia Foundation offer information for children, support for families and children, and other services.
Should I tell my child?
It is natural to want to protect your child from the news of the diagnosis, but children often pick up that something is wrong. Your child may not be feeling well or may wonder why they are seeing the doctor so frequently.
Talking openly and honestly about the leukaemia will help your child feel less anxious and more in control of the situation. What you tell your child depends on how old they are and how much they understand. Cancer Council has resources that may be helpful at this time.
Bone marrow and blood donations
You can offer support to someone with acute leukaemia by becoming a bone marrow donor. Bone marrow donors are usually related to the person receiving the bone marrow, but sometimes donors are matched through the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Many people are eligible to donate blood, call 13 14 95 or visit Australian Red Cross Lifeblood.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Dr Jonathan Sillar, Haematologist, Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital; Dr Scott Dunkley, Haematologist, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse; Sharon Frazer, Consumer; Dr Robin Gasiorowski, Staff Specialist, Haematology, Concord Hospital; Prof Angela Hong, Radiation Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, and Clinical Professor, The University of Sydney; Yvonne King, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Heather Mackay, Clinical Nurse Consultant – Haematology, Westmead Hospital; Katelin Mayer, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Cancer Outreach Team, Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
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