The youngest of six siblings, ten-year-old Chelsea was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in June 2020.
Teena tells us about Chelsea’s diagnosis and how learning to accept help from her support team made all the difference.
In started in May 2022 when Chelsea came home from school one day in tears. Her legs were aching, her arms were aching, everything was in pain. She was in and out of doctors’ appointments for weeks. The doctors kept insisting it was viral and that there was nothing wrong with her. It was awful.
After months of doctor’s visits and asking questions, Chelsea was diagnosed with leukaemia. Within three days she was in intensive care unit with failing kidneys.
Chelsea spent 26 weeks in and out of hospital. Her longest stay was 13 weeks in a row. I was alone in the hospital with her while my husband was left to manage our family business on his own as well as look after all our other kids. It was a nightmare, trying to juggle the five other kids and run the business.
Learning to accept help
This was all happening during COVID and no one could come to the hospital to visit Chelsea so it was really tough on all of us. When Chelsea was first diagnosed, everybody wanted to help us. We kept saying, no, no we don’t need anything. We kept pushing everybody away.
My husband and I found it hard to accept help, we thought of ourselves as more of the giving people rather than accepting. We found it difficult when all these things were being handed to us and we’re saying, “Oh, no, give it to people that need it.” Not realising we were those people who needed it. We felt guilty accepting help.
Accepting help didn’t come naturally we had to learn it. I’m so glad we did because it made such an impact. We realised others liked offering help like we did. After receiving the Red Bag It was our Social Worker who let us know about the ways Redkite could help.
Our social worker told us about how Redkite could help pay some bills. Being a household of eight and a single income family but Redkite’s financial assistance took a lot of the pressure off.
Our family was first introduced to Redkite when we were given a Red Bag at the hospital. We were amazed at how much was in there. It was just wonderful and so helpful. We didn’t expect anything like it. I had no idea how much support was available to us.
We would see other parents carrying a Red Bag with them through the hospital. I knew what they were going through because I was going through the same thing. We were all connected through the bag.
Chelsea has been on maintenance for 2 months and is doing really well. She has begun going back to school after having a year off for her treatment.
Did you know…
KiteCrew is a free support app that makes offering and accepting help a little easier for everyone. Whether you’re a family facing cancer or a friend wanting to offer the right kind of support. Read more about how KiteCrew can help you here.
Cancer is hard. Getting help doesn’t have to be.
To access any of our services, call, email, or let us know your details and we’ll get in touch with you.
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