Stories Jane

JANE

Cancer Survivor Parent

Covid-19 has added to the challenges for families coping with childhood cancer. Along with many others, the pandemic has meant a lot of difficulties for Jane*. This included losing her part-time job, which was her main source of income. As a single mother of three, and a caregiver of a child with cancer, she was devastated.

Despite her kids doing well at school, having to stay at home and coping with Home-Based Learning for three children has been particularly difficult. Her home was in need of new furniture, as the dusty environment was causing her son, who is recovering from cancer, to frequently fall sick. While the subsidies offered to help families cope with Covid-19 were welcome, they were not enough to cover all their needs.

It takes a village to support a family

Despite the new challenges brought about by Covid-19, there are silver linings to be found: that of finding a community willing to help, coming together to make sure childhood cancer survivors and their families pull through.

VIVA brought together a community of partners in support of Jane and her family. The Order of the Knights of Malta provided Jane with a new wardrobe and furniture to help keep clothes dust and allergen-free, preventing her child with cancer from falling ill. A refurbished computer from Engineering Good enabled her children to access home-based learning during the Circuit Breaker period. 

VIVA also mobilised kind-hearted donors, who provided financial support to tide her over this period, covering her immediate needs. Monthly groceries were organised together with Food from the Heart, along with healthy food supplements from donors, and a Stay Home Pack filled with books and activities to keep her kids occupied at home while staying safe.

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While there is a lot of acute care during cancer treatment, support drops off when treatment ends. This is why we believe support has to continue beyond treatment to make sure survivors are able to thrive, and live healthy, meaningful lives.

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Enabling Childhood Cancer Survivors to Thrive

“While there is a lot of acute care during cancer treatment, support drops off when treatment ends,” says VIVA Founder and Chairman Mrs Jennifer Yeo. “This is why we believe support has to continue beyond treatment to make sure survivors are able to thrive, and live healthy, meaningful lives.”

VIVA has been putting into place the VIVA Life Programme, which would support childhood cancer survivors and their families like Jane with their physical, emotional, and mental well-being, diet and nutrition, education, and other forms of support to enable them to flourish later on in life.

“The VIVA Life Programme will be the first in Singapore that focuses exclusively on the well-being and quality of life for childhood cancer survivors. We want to make sure no one falls through the cracks and that support systems are in place to look after survivors, not just patients,” says Mrs Yeo.

It takes a community to support a cancer patient throughout the course of treatment and recovery. From doctors, nurses, scientists, educators, nutritionists, therapists, to kind-hearted donors and organisations, facing cancer need not mean facing it alone. 


*Not their real name

 

It takes a community to support a cancer patient throughout the course of treatment and recovery. From fellow families, doctors, nurses, scientists, educators, nutritionists, therapists, to kind-hearted donors and organisations, facing cancer need not mean facing it alone. 

During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September, we will be sharing a series of Survivor Stories—stories of strength, full of love, and filled with hope for the future. Donate to VIVA and help us rewrite the future of children with cancer.