Alicja's Story: Donate to Rainbow Trust Children's Charity
Your donations are urgently needed to help us provide support for more families with a seriously ill child.
Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity supports families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.
Seven-year-old Alicja was diagnosed with leukaemia in August 2022. Alicja's mum, Anna, described how the diagnosis all happened very quickly. When Alicja first started feeling unwell with a temperature and other symptoms, doctors put it down to a viral infection and sent her home.
‘I took her to A&E again. They still wanted to send us home, but I basically requested blood tests. They did blood tests and a day later, we got the confirmation that she had leukaemia. The same day, we were transferred to John Radcliffe hospital, and we were there for almost five months.’
During the time Alicja was in hospital, the family’s lives changed and the situation put stress on her relationship with her son.
‘Because unfortunately Alicja’s dad couldn’t be there with us, I would stay in the hospital with her. Alicja and I grew closer, but it was so difficult because my son felt like I abandoned him. He was at home with my mum, and I was with Alicja, he felt like I didn’t care about him, but I had to be with Alicja, and I couldn’t leave.’
‘She was in the ICU for around 50 days. She had cardiac arrest, she had a lot of things going on – she couldn’t walk, she couldn’t sit, she couldn’t move, she couldn’t talk, there was a lot.’
Anna, Alicja's mum
described how when Alicja was first diagnosed, everyone
to help. But over time, the crowd of people
became less and less, and only a few people stayed in touch.
Anna and her family were referred to Rainbow Trust, and Family Support Worker Sammii started supporting them a month after her diagnosis.
While Alicja was in hospital having treatment, Sammii came to visit and play with Alicja, they made craft activities, including a light up bowl, and played with bubbles to keep her entertained and to help with social interaction and development.
‘When Sammii came to the hospital it was nice to see Alicja playing, she loved it. We felt like we met Sammii a long time ago and she feels comfortable around Sammii and so do I, so that’s nice.’
On the first week in January 2023, Alicja finished her cancer treatment and to mark it she got to the ring the bell at John Radcliffe Hospital. She has now been discharged and is back at home with her mum and brother.
Although Alicja has finished her treatment, there are still difficulties that the family must face. For example, adjusting to life outside the hospital, and finding a new routine of what life now looks like.
Sammii supported the family through this transition, providing support by taking Alicja out to play before she could go back to school and allowing Anna to spend time with her son.
‘Even just playing with her for an hour and a half, for the parent, it means you’ve got that time for yourself. Although I’m still around, it’s nice because I can just sit and have a coffee without worrying.’
With your help Rainbow Trust Family Support Workers can make the challenges that families living with childhood illness face that bit more manageable.
Please donate today to help us support more seriously ill children and their families just like Alicja’s.