Pediatric cancer support in the Rocky Mountain region
Childhood cancers are rare and represent less than one percent of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. every year. However, when a child is diagnosed with cancer, it can be hard for parents, families and loved ones to know what to do—and how best to support children and teens undergoing cancer treatments.
There are a number of direct, local, regional and national support services and pediatric cancer resources geared toward supporting Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children's patients and their families, ranging from wish-granting to needs-based organizations.
The needs-based organizations help with everything from financial support for pediatric cancer patients to basic living needs, like rent and grocery assistance. Because the eligibility criteria varies so drastically between organizations, the best way to determine if your child qualifies for support is to speak to your social worker or care team directly about assistance. Through a continuum of care, our inpatient and outpatient social work teams follow our pediatric oncology patients through the course of their treatment.
Our multidisciplinary team is committed to quality care
RMHC has a comprehensive team of board-certified pediatric oncologists/hematologists, pathologists, radiologists, nurses, social workers and child life specialists all devoted to providing the best possible care and treatment for children of all ages, from infants to young adults. Together, our physicians and staff provide high-quality and comprehensive treatment and support for children with cancer.
Child life specialists
Families with a child who has cancer can find support through our child life specialists who offer assistance to families and pediatric patients during nearly every stage of the treatment process. Child life specialists provide activities to normalize the hospital environment during both inpatient hospital stays and outpatient visits.
For children and teenagers undergoing cancer treatment, the child life specialist can use virtual reality technology, arts and crafts, movies, games and other activities to help normalize the hospital environment. Child life specialists also engage patients in techniques, which help to minimize stress and anxiety during treatments and patient visits.
For families who have a child or teen with cancer or a blood disorder, the treatment process can be difficult and emotional. Child life specialists work with parents, siblings and patients to help facilitate positive coping techniques and educate about diagnosis, hospitalization and treatment. Additionally, these specialists coordinate with community organizations that provide resources for therapeutic activities to help patients and families cope with treatments.
Pediatric cancer resources
Cancer clinical trials
RMHC has partnered with the Children’s Oncology Group to allow our physicians to participate in cancer clinical trials. Our physicians provide access for your child to participate in new and upcoming trials to help other patients with the same type of cancer. Additionally, your child will have access to treatments before they become widely available as well as additional services from our physicians.
National pediatric cancer resources
National pediatric cancer support resources and services include the following:
- The American Cancer Society is a great resource for information, statistics and facts about childhood cancers.
- The American Brain Tumor Association funds brain tumor research and provides information and education about all types of brain tumors that can develop in children.
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society advocates public policy decisions that impact patients with leukemia, Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and myeloma. The organization also offers support groups, peer-to-peer support, information specialists and a patient community for children and adults with these diseases.
Local, Denver-area and Colorado resources
For residents in the Rocky Mountain region, the Denver metro area and throughout Colorado, multiple services and organizations offer support for families with cancer:
- Rocky Mountain Cancer Assistance is a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to low-income cancer patients (and their families) in Colorado for household expenses, such as rent, mortgage payments, car payments, car insurance and health insurance.
- The Colorado Cancer Coalition seeks to reduce the risk, incidence and mortality associated with cancer in Colorado. The organization is involved with many events and support groups for families and children with cancer across the state.
- The Colorado Kids Cancer Association is a group of organizations that provide support for children with cancer and their families. Services include connecting families with support groups, assisting with housing solutions for out-of-state patients and helping parents find camps for kids with cancer.
For more information on pediatric cancer resources and support for families with cancer, call our expert teams or talk to your child's doctor or pediatrician. For families, parents and loved ones with a child or teen who has been diagnosed with cancer or a blood disorder, there are plenty of local, regional and national resources available to help.