Childhood leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, is a cancer of the blood. Treatment for childhood leukemia is typically a lengthy and rigorous process that can take more than three years to complete. When a child is diagnosed with leukemia, families quickly discover that assistance in a variety of forms is essential to managing treatment. Fortunately, several childhood leukemia foundations exist to help families with basic needs that range from financial support to informational resources.
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is the world's largest voluntary health agency devoted to blood cancer. Serving both children and adults, LLS funds research and provides education and support services for families. Additionally, the organization offers financial assistance to families to help offset treatment-related costs such as co-pays and prescription medications. LLS family support programs include teleconferences and educational materials, family support groups and the Trish Greene Back to School Program, in place to assist children, caregivers and teachers with the transition back to school following active treatment.
Childhood Leukemia Foundation
The Childhood Leukemia Foundation supports families in a variety of ways. This organization provides comprehensive information on treatment, family support resources, wish organizations, lifestyle and wellness. Additionally, CLF offers patient support programs, such as the "Hugs U Wear," whereby children receive wigs; and "Wish Baskets" containing age-appropriate personal items, games and toys. "Hope Binders" assist parents with organization of documentation; and through the "Keeping Kids Connected" program, children receive iPads or laptops to foster connectivity with friends and family.
Childrens Leukemia Research Association, Inc.
This nonprofit organization was founded in 1965 and supports leukemia research while providing aid to families in need. The CRLA grant program utilizes financial contributions to fund grants for doctors who are conducting promising research on the cause and cure of leukemia. Through CRLA's patient aid program, childhood leukemia patients and their families receive financial assistance to help offset treatment-related expenses such as laboratory fees and outpatient chemotherapy. The "Matching Dollars Program" allows for additional financial assistance when funds are raised in the name of a registered patient aid family.
Childhood Cancer Organizations
Though not disease-specific, several organizations exist to assist families dealing with a child's cancer diagnosis. Alex's Lemonade Stand is a national fundraising organization for childhood cancer research that also offers financial assistance for families needing to travel for treatment. The American Childhood Cancer Organization offers comprehensive support for families, and the National Children's Cancer Society provides financial and fundraising assistance. Families seeking detailed information about their child's diagnosis and treatment can turn to CureSearch for Children's Cancer and the Children's Oncology Group.