Surviving Cancer and Beyond - My Take by Priti Dhall
Cankids has been working with childhood cancer patients since 2006. Many believe that once you are cured, the battle is over. But it does not for many because cancer leaves some children with disabilities that are lifelong.
Like bone cancer that can affect the spine and limb control. In such cases, the child and the family tend to feel defeated and lose hope. Some kids are also aware of the financial burden their treatment puts on their families and this can become a cause for stress.
We help such families with psycho-emotional support, and reassure them that the challenge of walking can be overcome.
With the doctor, we help the kids get used to using a wheelchair, then crutches or a walker, and become independent. If the child’s limb has been amputated, we help with getting an artificial limb. Once the child is comfortable, we encourage him or her to go back to school. We also assist with vocational training when needed.
Eye cancer or retinoblastoma is another common disability linked to cancer. It can cause loss of vision in the eye. We help such patients to get an artificial eye so that they do not have to wear a bandage on the affected eye.
As the child grows older, the artificial eye needs to be replaced and sometimes the child can have hearing disability as a side effect of the radiation therapy. We help the family with finances for the eye, and assistive devices.
Cankids provides assistance with support from government schemes like the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and the Chief Minister’s fund, as well as NGOs and trusts. Kids are encouraged to think positive and towards that we have a group called Kids Can Konnect, KCK. This is a group of cancer survivors that meet regularly to discuss challenges, celebrate achievements and support each other.
About the Writer
Priti Dhall is a Board Member and Director, Western Region, at Cankids..Kids Can since 2012. This is a not-for-profit that works on all aspects to enable best standards of treatment care and support services for children with cancer.