Finding out that a friend or family member has cancer or another serious illness can be hard. Often we are left feeling helpless and wonder how we can help. Here are a few ideas of ways you can help someone diagnosed with cancer.
1) Create a blog, caringbridge site, or facebook page
Cancer is a rollercoaster. Two steps forward, one step back. Of course loved ones and friends want to always know how they're doing. But repeating everything constantly can be exhausting. Offer to create a blog, caringbridge site or facebook page where they can just post once and keep friends and family updated.
2) Maid Services
Due to a compromised immune system, cleanliness and germs are a bigger factor than ever! But at the same time, treatment zaps all energy and motivation. This makes staying on top of cleaning hard. Consider paying for maid services or perhaps YOU can be the maid services! :)
3)Lawn services and home repair
Same idea. During cancer treatment, the lawn and home are likely to suffer. Pay for services or be the handyman! :)
4) Family Portraits
Before getting too far into treatments, we highly recommend getting some family portraits taken. Whether you pay to get them taken or get out your own camera-- offer to help make this happen!
Again, nutrition is at an all time importance. Offer to make meals or buy gift cards for meals. Even better--help coordinate meals to be brought in as often as possible!
Rides to treatment are an awesome way to help! Even if it's not necessary medically-- it would be more fun to have a friend come with you!
7) Grocery Shopping
Sometimes it is just hard to get to the store. Ask for a grocery list, or just make your best guess and do the shopping for the family!
8) Child Care
Cancer is more than a full time job. Child care is often an issue. If you don't have a lot of time, consider offering to do child care for a small date night.
9) Coordinating Help
Often there are many people who would love to help. Sometimes just the offers to help can be overwhelming. Offer to coordinate help. You can use a site like lotsahelpinghands.org or the calendar within caringbridge, or create your own system. Or simply offer to be the go to person to coordinate it all. But coordinating things like meals, rides, visits, child care, etc can lift a huge burden!
10) Project Help
Offer to help with any special projects they normally would have been doing that time of year. For example, before my mom was sick, she would always make us matching dresses for holidays like Easter and Christmas. She would also make us homemade gifts. She LOVED doing it! While fighting breast cancer, it was hard for her not to be able to do these things. Some friends stepped in and made them for her. She would have loved more than anything to be able to do it herself-- but it was such a huge blessing to have someone do for her what she would have wanted to do for herself.
Put together a kit such as one of the following:
Put together a kit of pre-paid date nights. Movies tickets, movie rentals, bowling, dinner, golfing, theater tickets, etc
Family Fun Night
Restaraut gifts cards, arcade gift cards, movies, bowling, miniature golfing, card games. Gift card to any store for the family to pick out something fun. Anything fun and prepaid.
Chemo Care Kits
Blankets, slippers, cute pjs, chapstick, mints or lemon drops, notebooks, pens, hat, etc. If the kit is for kids, consider some fun little toys, crafts, coloring books, etc.
Cancer is just straight up expensive. Even with good insurance. Find things you can do to raise money for the family. Ask people to donate to a garage sale, use a site like gofundme.com or paypal. Sell dinner plates. Bake sale. 5k. Anything to help ease the financial burden!
13) JUST SHOW YOU CARE!
Be a friend. Listen. Send a card. Email. Text. Call. Anything!!! Just do something to show that you care.
We would love to hear your ideas! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you know someone that could use some help in any of these areas, please let us know! We would love the opportunity to see how we can help! Email us at email@example.com