One of the realities of having a child with a chronic illness or disability is that a great deal of time may be spent in the hospital. As a friend, you may be unsure of what you can do to help. Do you stop by? Do they prefer privacy? It can be tough sitting by feeling like you’re doing nothing when a friend is in need and you want to do something.
Educate Yourself: Find out the specific name of diseases, conditions, testing, or procedures that your friend’s child is dealing with, then do some research. Familiarize yourself with their condition so you have a better understanding of what they’re going through. It’s okay if you don’t understand everything; if you have questions, ask! Show that you are truly interested and concerned.
Stay in Touch: A quick email, phone call, or text message can make a big difference. You don’t have to take up a lot of their time, but just take a few minutes to show you care and you’re thinking about them. It’s easy for them to get overwhelmed with hospital life, so help them feel more connected and supported. A kind word or thought can go a long way.
Get Involved: Find out how you can help. Offer to do some cleaning around their home so they have less to worry about when they come home. Mow their lawn or do yardwork to keep things looking nice in their absence. Prepare some meals they can freeze or that you can take to the hospital, along with healthy snacks. You could also offer to watch their other children for a while to give them a break and let their kids get out and play.
Be Respectful: Chances are, you have little experience dealing with what they’re going through, and that’s okay. Respect that it is a difficult time for them and don’t try to downplay the situation with sayings like “everything happens for a reason,” or “everything works out as it should.” Avoid sharing the details of your fun weekend at the shore or night at the theater when they can’t do such things. Instead, offer to do something together either at the hospital or nearby if their child is doing well.
Listen: Sometimes one of the best things you can do is listen. Your friend isn’t always looking for answers – they’ve got a medical team for that – but rather just someone they can talk to. Ask about their child, but also don’t forget to ask about them and how they’re doing. You may not feel like you’re doing much, but it can mean a lot to your friend and their family.
Let your friend know that their family is on your mind and you’re sending positive thoughts. They need all of the support and warm wishes they can get. If you’re interested in other ways that you can help your friend and other families in need, contact Lake Wylie Children’s Charity. We’re always looking for volunteers, fundraising opportunities, in-kind donations, resources, and more so that we can continue to support local families and their children.
Raising a child with an illness or disability can be rewarding yet challenging at the same time. It is exciting to see them make progress and achieve goals, but getting them to that point can be mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. When a child has an illness or disability it can have both a positive and negative impact on families.
Parents want what is best for their child. However, in the face of illness or disability, they may be always second-guessing themselves. Is there a better treatment option? Are they making the best choice? Could they be doing more? What if they had done X instead of Y? There are many unknowns and this can be very stressful.
There can also be a significant financial impact of raising a child who has special needs or is facing a life-changing illness. There are doctors’ appointments, medications, equipment, therapies, and other costs that can quickly add up. Parents may devote a lot of their time to caring for a child’s condition and other siblings may feel left out.
Balancing the demands of raising a child with an illness or disability along with other responsibilities can be tough. It takes a lot of time, support, organization, and resources, but it is doable.
Dealing with illness or disability can also bring families together. They can feel a sense of cohesiveness in learning as much as they can, advocating for research and care, and figuring out what works best for their family. Families may adapt to their own way of doing things and planning trips or special time with one another. They may also create lasting friendships with others who are going through similar experiences. This can reassure them that they are not alone.
Families can also come together to celebrate the child’s progress and accomplishments. They are all an integral part of each other’s well-being and supporting one another in thriving. Getting actively involved in treatment or therapy can bring everyone closer together.
Building a strong support system is important. It can equip families with knowledge, resources, and support. Navigating the unknowns, trying to establish a new ‘normal,’ and not knowing what the future holds can be unnerving. With a solid support system, families know that they are not alone in their journey and that others are going through the same thing. Also, there are people who will stand by their side through thick and thin, doing whatever they can to help.
Life with an illness or disability is an adventure. No two days are the same. Lake Wylie Children’s Charity strives to support families through their journey by hosting fundraisers and special events, collecting monetary or in-kind donations, and identifying valuable resources. No family should have to deal with a chronic illness or disability on their own. If you would like be a part of giving back or have a child you want to nominate, contact Lake Wylie Children’s Charity today.
We can’t wait to hear from you!
The local philanthropic group promises music, games, food, and more—all to help local kids and families.
Lake Wylie, S.C. – “Fun for a cause” is one of the mantras of Lake Wylie Children’s Charity, the local philanthropic group that raises funds for the families of seriously ill children and teens. The charity will put that mantra into action on October 2nd, when it holds its annual benefit concert—Lake Wylie Children’s Charity’s biggest fundraising event of the year.
The benefit concert—which starts at noon and runs through about 6:00 PM—will be held at T-Bone’s on the Lake located in Lake Wylie, South Carolina; though the day will focus on music, plenty of other activities will be on offer, too. Families who attend can expect games, a special “kids’ zone,” silent auctions, contributions from the Carolina Panthers, and more. Food concession, a bake sale, and a wine pull will also be featured.
“Our goal is to create a fun, relaxed atmosphere where families can enjoy spending their afternoon—and know that their donations are going to a good cause,” comments Jennifer Joye, Executive Director of Lake Wylie Children’s Charity. “Of course, a big part of the day is the music, and we’re glad to have beloved DJ Big Sexy of 103.7 on hand, as well as great bands like Continental Divide, Fiftywatt Freight Train, Lipstick on a Pig, Cloud Nine, and the Shannon Warren Band.”
The proceeds from this year’s benefit concert will go to the local child who has been “adopted” by the charity this year—Aubrey Eaton, a Lake Wylie infant suffering from internal bleeding and blood clots.
Those who attend the concert will get to hear more about these brave kids, as well as learn about future LWCC fundraisers. More information about the event, and on Lake Wylie Children’s Charity in general, can be found at www.lkwchildrenscharity.org.
ABOUT: Devoted to raising funds and support for the families of local children grappling with potentially life-threatening illnesses, Lake Wylie Children’s Charity is incorporated & registered in the State of South Carolina as a charity & is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit by the IRS. Contributions should be tax deductible by individuals. Companies & corporations, check with appropriate legal counsel. Make checks payable to Lake Wylie Children’s Charity (LWCC). Federal EIN #45-4732195. For more information please visit the website at www.LKWChildrensCharity.org, or follow LWCC on Facebook www.facebook.com/LKWChildCharity or on Twitter @LKWChildCharity.