Our mission is to educate, support, serve and advocate for children with cancer and blood disorders, their families, survivors of childhood cancer and the professionals who care for them.
Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children in the United States. Cancer takes more children’s lives than AIDS, asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy combined. In 2011, 18% of deaths of kids ages 5 to 14 in Wisconsin were from cancer.
More than 250 babies, children and teens are on active treatment through the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology-Transplant clinic at American Family Children’s Hospital at any one time.
Children with cancer are given aggressive treatment regimens that can last from several months to three years, and require near-constant care from a parent. Children with sickle cell disease, the second largest group of kids treated in the clinic, face a lifetime of health problems and pain crises, blood transfusions, strokes and more.
Children and teens with cancer and blood disorders cannot be cared for in their local community hospital, but must travel to regional specialty treatment centers. Many of the kids we serve have to travel two hours or more each way for tests, treatments and hospitalizations. Surveys of the families indicate that they experience an average drop in family income of 30% or more during the first year after diagnosis for cancer, and a lower level of income loss but over a much longer period of time in the case of children with chronic disorders like sickle cell disease and indolent brain tumors. Increased medical and travel expenses combined with lowered income add to the stress and worry of families caring for a child with a life-threatening illness. Social isolation is also a serious concern for children with cancer and blood disorders, their siblings and parents.
To provide appropriate support to children with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders, and their families, from diagnosis to the end of treatment, into survivorship or through bereavement.
BCCN provides information, assistance and comfort items to families of children starting at their first hospitalization. We host peer support groups as well as informal parties and gatherings so families can share and gain knowledge from one another and relax among others who understand what it means to care for a child with a life-threatening illness. We supply and maintain the popular Hero Bead program, where kids can collect from over 50 beads and charms that represent the experiences and milestones of cancer treatment and string them on a cord to share a visual record of their journey. Each year, we provide thousands of dollars of pre-paid gas cards and meal cards to families who travel long distances to bring their child to treatment at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison. We also offer urgently needed financial and transportation assistance to families of area children who need help with rent or mortgage, utilities, car repairs, phone, car payments, groceries and other basic living expenses that if, left unmet, might endanger the health and safety of the critically ill child.
Badger Childhood Cancer Network provides compassionate services to all children with cancer and blood disorders in our service area and to their families regardless of religious belief, racial or ethnic background, skin color, marital status, gender, sexual orientation or level of disability. We do not discriminate in employment or in membership to our governing board by race, color, religion, physical ability, national origin, age, gender, marital status or sexual orientation.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE: www.badgerchildhoodcancer.org