- Date published: 19 Feb 2015 by Jessica Homer
When Rowan’s family received the heart breaking news that she had a brain tumour, they were devastated. Beth, Rowan’s mum, said that learning to cope was her only option. Coping with the thought that she may die as well as the practical issues of caring for a seriously ill child.
Beth and her husband, Will, are self-employed and worried about how they would manage financially, juggle appointments and cope with long stays in hospital. They were also concerned about how their other two children would adjust to the sudden and dramatic upheaval of family life. Life as they knew it was turned upside down.
Fortunately, they were introduced to Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and I made initial contact with the family as soon as they needed it.
When Rowan’s parents were anxious and afraid and needed someone to talk to, I was there to listen and help them understand. When the family had to endure the 100 mile round trip to attend specialist hospital appointments, I was able to help with transport in my Rainbow Trust car. When Rowan, pale, tired, frightened and clutching her beloved cuddly bunny, was waiting to attend chemotherapy, I was there with her mum, to support her.
The support we give to families who have a child with a serious illness is life changing.
During Rowan’s many hospital appointments I witnessed strength and bravery I didn’t think possible from such a young girl. As we went around the hospital to different wards for various treatments not once did this courageous little girl complain.
Despite being unwell, Rowan always has a smile for everyone. Rowan was given Pinky the bunny the day she was diagnosed.
Beth found hospital appointments exhausting but she had to remain strong for Rowan. Rainbow Trust’s support helps families maintain a sense of normality. We care for Rowan and the whole family, including her brother and sister. This is the difference Rainbow Trust makes. We give families the strength and support to carry on.
We desperately need your help to recruit more Rainbow Trust Family Support Workers, like me, for families who are struggling to cope.
Rowan is now nine years old and is still undergoing treatment. I continue to support her and her family. One of the side effects of her condition and treatment has been the loss of her eyesight. Rowan has been practising to walk with a cane but finds it difficult and prefers to be guided by Beth or myself.
Beth knows she can rely on me to be there for her and her family through the good times and bad.
Janet is truly amazing. For five years she has been by our side. Without Rainbow Trust, we wouldn’t be where we are now.’ Beth, Rowan’s mum.
Last year, Rainbow Trust supported almost 1,700 families with a seriously ill child, which is amazing. But the daunting truth is that there are another 4,500 families who still need our support.
With your help, we can reach more families, who are in desperate need. It could be the difference between them coping or falling apart. I feel very proud to work for Rainbow Trust; no one else does what we do.
Janet, Rainbow Trust Family Support Worker
PS: I hope you enjoy reading ‘The Adventures of Pinky the bunny’ which I created with Rowan to help her remember how far she has come.