When a close family member or friend has a baby born into the NICU or a recent diagnosis of childhood cancer, it’s hard to know what to say or do for them. Here are 5 ways to support a NICU family or a family with a recent cancer diagnosis.
Of course, this comes with the comfort level of the family related to COVID-19 and immunodeficiency of the child in the NICU/with a cancer diagnosis.
1. Start a meal train.
Starting a meal train for a family in need helps ensure there is a nice meal for family members to eat without the hassle of cooking for the family members. This doesn’t have to be dinner – switch it up! A few days worth of groceries, a hot breakfast, or even a gift card for gas can be delightful, too. Mealtrain.com is a great website to start the train. If a family is not comfortable with home cooked meals, offer to make sure the meals are delivered from local restaurants and grocery stores and set up a no-contact delivery.
2. Offer to watch/drive siblings and pets.
Taking some responsibility off of the hands of the parents is extremely helpful. Offering to watch siblings, pick them up from school, or drive them to extracurriculars. Pets still need to be taken care of and long days at the hospital don’t always allow for this. Of course, this comes with the comfort level of the family related to COVID-19 and immunodeficiency of the child in the NICU/with a cancer diagnosis.
3. Take over some household responsibilities.
Depending on comfort level, offer to come to do laundry, make the beds, vacuum, get the car washed or fill the car up with gas, or even hire a dog walker! If a family would rather stay in isolation, schedule a no contact laundry pick up (throw it in a laundry bin or garbage bag!) to be dropped off at a later date.
4. Check in on them.
Even if a friend or family member stops responding or picking up calls, just seeing the text or missed call is comforting to them. Even writing a handwritten note is a nice gesture. Sometimes, it’s too much to talk things out, but knowing they are thought of makes a big difference.
5. Set up a donation to pay for medical bills.
Medical bills pile up QUICKLY. Setting up a donation website for medical bills and hospital stays takes an enormous weight off of a family’s shoulders. Gofundme.com is a great website for this.
Do you need help with cooking meals every night? We just discovered Meez Meals. They are a small business, the ingredients are fresh, pre-chopped and the recipes are simple. Use code BUMBLEBABY50P for discount! Share with a friend who could benefit from quick and delicious meals at home.
**This post is educational and not meant to take the place of your provider. Bumblebaby makes a small commission on some of the items listed above