Finding out your child has cancer has been described as the scariest rollercoaster ride you will ever go on.
Trying to navigate your way through the maze of treatments, hospital visits and prognosis is terrifying enough without then also having to think about the financial pressures you may face as a family.
New research by CLIC Sargent has found that parents are spending on average £600 a month extra purely because their child is going through treatment for cancer. Over half of parents accrue debt and 40% of them have to give up work. At a time when your sole focus should be your child, your family and supporting them, parents are often forced to deal with the huge cost of travel, food and rising energy bills increasing the pressure on them immensely.
Khianna, who has acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), explains it better than I ever could in this short film.
And here's what a parent of a child with cancer said about the financial hardship:
“Petrol, travelling to and from hospital; food for the adults as the hospital would feed [my child] but not us; clothes and things to make him more comfortable in hospital; heating bills – when he’s at home we have to heat our home more than we would have. We spent £350 during my child’s 19 day stay in hospital.”
Here at CLIC Sargent we want to help families who are struggling to cope with the financial pressures of when their child has cancer. We offer all families we support an immediate £170 grant and last year gave £1.1 million in financial grants to families. But we can’t do this alone. Too many families are struggling. We are asking the Government to offer immediate financial support from the point of diagnosis and look into travel assistance available for families. We are also calling on transport companies, energy companies and banks to look at how they can better support their customers who might need it.
Families are currently struggling with the cost of cancer. You can help us change this. Sign our petition to the Prime Minister and tell your friends and family about our #Cancercosts campaign.
Find out more
- CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. We provide emotional, practical, financial and clinical support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. Last year we support over 7,000 children, young people and families.
- Our #Cancercosts campaign was launched in September 2016 – find out more here.
- Email your MP about #Cancercosts.