Setting up a communication system when your child has cancer

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A communication system keeps friends and family aware of what is happening, without you needing to contact everyone yourself. Find out how you can set up a communication system when your child is being treated for cancer.

Key points

  • Ask a friend or family member to help you set up a communication system.
  • A communication system can be a website, email list, social media account to keep friends and families updated on your child; you can also set up a phone tree to be used in case of emergencies.

Obviously you have a lot of responsibility right now, and providing frequent updates to your friends and family takes time and energy that you may not feel that you have. Other parents have found it helpful to set up a communication system. This keeps your friends and family aware of what is happening but avoids the need to repeat updates to each person individually. It can take a bit of time and effort to set up initially, but a communication system can be invaluable during times of crisis.

Communication system suggestions

  • Create blog, email list or private social media account (such as Facebook or Instagram) so you can share updates and information.
  • Setup a phone tree in case of emergencies. A phone tree is a network designed to spread information quickly, where you start the communication by calling a few people who then each call a few more people (and so on) until everyone on the list has been contacted. This way, you can spread a message or request for help without needing to call each person individually.
  • Make a page (or get someone to help you to make a page) on a website designed to support families facing a life-limiting illness. These websites provide a private and secure space online where you can post updates and requests for help and support. There are also discussion forums, which your family and friends can visit to understand more about the experience of families facing cancer.
Last updated: September 3rd 2019