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Finding Support
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Step-by-Step Support Guide
"Most parents are not prepared for the illness of a child, that's just not something you think about," relates social worker Mary Mathews, director of family programs at Children's Memorial Hospital. "Our role within the hospital is to help families individually figure out what their coping needs are, based on resources already existing for them. Families are particularly unprepared for dealing with serious or life-threatening illness, unless this has happened to them before." Mathews works with families to help them put illness into perspective and find the support they need.
In times of real crisis, families often gather support from neighbors, friends and even teachers. But as the weeks go by, this support may naturally begin to fade. At this stage, families frequently have to find ways to manage the illness themselves.
The following strategies may be useful for parents whose children are in the hospital, as well as helpful for parents who may have to navigate the hospital system at some point in the future.
Effective Strategies for Finding Support
Try these simple tips or share them with a friend in need.
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Derek Marquez Fund-Raiser
A community throws a fund-raiser to pay for a child's care when the insurance runs out.
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"We encourage people from the beginning to think about this illness as a life-changing thing, and to be prepared for an extended experience."
Mary Mathews
Social Worker