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Real Stories

Learning to accept help

Teena tells us about daughter, Chelsea’s cancer diagnosis and how learning to accept help from her support team made all the difference.

little girl in hospital bed with cancer

The youngest of six siblings, ten-year-old Chelsea was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in June 2020.

One day in May, Chelsea had come home from school in tears. Her arms and legs were aching, and her entire body was in pain. Teena took Chelsea to get checked and 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. 

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.”

Chelsea was in treatment during COVID, and no one could come to the hospital to visit, making tough on the family.

“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 to Teena and her husband, they 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.”   

The family was first introduced to Redkite when they were given the 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.

After receiving the Red Bag, it was our social worker who let us know about the ways Redkite could help.”

Teena and her family accessed Redkite’s financial services.

“Our social worker told us about how Redkite could help pay some bills. Being a household of eight and a single income family, Redkite’s financial assistance took a lot of the pressure off.”

Chelsea has been on maintenance, and is doing really well. She has gone back to school after having a year off for her treatment. 

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.

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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