Watch Thomas’s Story
Watch this 5 minute film where Chris Hartley talks through his family’s journey after his son’s diagnosis of a brain tumour and the support he received from the Childhood Cancer Association.
Friday 1 Mar, 2019
The introduction of a new Oncology playgroup in 2018, in collaboration with Ronald McDonald House Charities SA, is giving young children undergoing cancer treatment the opportunity to attend regular early education sessions.
The Childhood Cancer Association’s Family Service Manager, Anna Boynton says the early intervention oncology playgroup offers fun, interactive sessions facilitated by a teacher with a Masters of Education, specialising in Early Childhood Education.
“The playgroup aims to focus on key development areas that may be otherwise behind due to being unable to attend usual preschool settings,” she says.
“Parent support and guidance is also available to assist their confidence to help extend their child’s learning while at home.
“We’re seeing some fantastic outcomes from the program with improvements to the children’s social skills, language, and self-confidence.
“While parents are also benefiting from a sense of normalcy and having an age appropriate environment outside of the hospital for their child to play, plus the opportunity to spend time with other parents who are going through a similar experience.”
Monique O’Donohue says her daughter Madison, now aged 5, loved her oncology playgroup each week.
“It was wonderful to engage in a ‘normal’ preschool activity with other children in a safe environment – ‘safe’ has a whole new meaning for kids fighting cancer,” she says.
“We were so grateful for this collaboration.”
The Playgroup is continuing in 2019, and has expanded to include children aged 2-5 years and it will also be available to siblings who may also be excluded from attending usual education due to their siblings’ illness.
We Need Your Help Today
The Early Intervention Oncology Playgroup has proven to be an integral part of our education support program and is of huge benefit to a child’s development. We need your help to raise $10,000 per year to meet the demand for this service.
By becoming a regular giver for $40 per month, over one year, you will provide a place for a young child with cancer to attend playgroup each week.