When you are told your child has a life threatening illness, your world gets wildly out of control. Not only do you have to deal with the overwhelming emotions and unfairness of your child suffering, you deal with the unanswerable question "why us."
Life as you know it is put on hold and you live in constant crisis.
Treatments are in either Sydney or Melbourne so you may have to split up your family, quit your job, leave other children with family or friends, the list goes on. You're making major life decisions with your head spinning, and a severe lack of sleep leaves your body relying on adrenaline to get you through the day.
When you need them the most you are separated from your family and friends. You face overwhelming financial difficulties. You need to become a medical expert, provide grief and loss counselling to a child experiencing extreme illness and a possibility of death, deal with siblings who are dealing with multiple emotions from grief to envy, and a partner, who like you has had their world tipped upside down.
Statistics show that the chance of your marriage breaking up is as high as 90%. This is understandable as the stress, grief and separation take their toll.
Now you may think this is a short term experience. You can imagine the impact on your family when you are in fact living in this crisis for 12 months or more, and then you are faced with years of fear and stress.
Life is never quite the same again. Family life is hard enough without this. Country Hope cannot take away all of these stresses. We wish we could. Every day we do help, allowing parents to be by the bedside of their sick child, allowing access to specialist medical treatment, providing a shoulder to cry on and a chance to pick themselves up to go another round of treatment.
All families with a child who has a life threatening illness face a horrible journey. For Country families the needs are even higher, and the journey harder. Help us provide Country Hope to Country families.