Christmas is a bittersweet time for Cancer families. For some, there will be someone missing at the dinner table. For others, it will mean hospital visits instead of seeing Santa. In a grandparent's case, they may have already lost a spouse, and the thought that they may also lose a grandchild is too awful to contemplate. Don't forget to include grandparents in family activities. It may be a sad time for some families, but being alone and overlooked is worse than sharing the sadness with family.
The names inside this star are all children from all over the world, who are fighting cancer, have finished their treatment, or who are now angels, free from pain. They are real children, with mums and dads, brothers, sisters and grandparents.
Each and every one of them is a star, and their light will shine bright for all to see.
If you are feeling isolated, and feel that no-one understands what it's like to watch your grandchild go through so much pain, and on top of that to watch your own child suffer, then consider joining our closed private support group, where you can talk to other grandparents, who know exactly how you are feeling. You don't have to cope alone.
This is Thomas. Thomas is the reason Grandparents of Kids With Cancer exists. He was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma in July 2010, at the age of 3. He is my inspiration, and his battle is what keeps me motivated, and determined to bring together other grandparents who are feeling how I once felt - that nobody understands their situation. Thank you Thomas!
Many children with cancer have siblings, who are impacted by their brother or sister's illness. They are often passed from one family member to another, as the parents struggle with appointments, and long hospital stays. Grandparents are usually the first port of call, as they tend to have more time on their hands than busy parents. They have their grandchildren for sleepovers, they do the school/nursery run, and are free babysitters in the school holidays.
We are only now beginning to realise the full psychological impact of childhood cancer on siblings. They speak about feeling ignored, or deprived of attention from their parents, and even resentment towards the sick sibling. Grandparents try hard to minimise these feelings, which can leave them stressed and exhausted.