Services for children with cancer

Father and son

The Irish Cancer Society provides free services to all those affected by cancer, including children and their families.

Parent Peer to Peer Support

We run a Parent Peer to Peer Support programme along with CanCare Living, Childhood Cancer Foundation, and CanTeen Ireland that connects parents of children with cancer with trained parent volunteers who really know what the parent is going through. All our parent volunteers have children who, in the past, have been treated for cancer.

This service is also available to other adult family members (e.g. grandparents, aunts etc).

Two mothers talking over tea

Information about childhood cancer

We produce booklets specifically for children with cancer. These books are sponsored by the Irish Cancer Society or produced in partnership with specialist paediatric centres and healthcare professionals: 

  • Helping Hand - A guide for parents of children with a brain tumour
  • Precious Times - A handbook on palliative care for parents of children with cancer
  • Children and Young People with Cancer (A Guide for Parents) – This booklet is written for parents whose child has been diagnosed with cancer.

We cover design, print and distribution costs for these materials while working with specialist paediatric centres and healthcare professionals on content.

All of our publications are available by calling the Cancer Nurseline on Freephone 1800 200 700 or in hospitals and Daffodil Centres across the country. You can also download them below:

Helping hand booklet
Helping hand booklet
This book has been written as a guide for parents of children with a brain tumour.
Precious times handbook
Precious times - a handbook on palliative care for parents of children with cancer booklet
This book is designed for families of children who have advanced cancer. The purpose of this book is to give you and your family information which will hopefully help you during palliative care.
Children and young people with cancer booklet
Children and Young People with Cancer – A Guide for Parents
This booklet is written for parents whose child has been diagnosed with cancer.
Guide for families of children receiving proton beam therapy
Guide for families of children receiving proton beam therapy
This leaflet will tell you all you need to know if your child is going to have proton beam therapy abroad. (Download only)

Services for children with cancer and their families

View of a road from the driver's seat of a car

Help with transportation costs to hospital

Travel2Care is a fund, made available by the National Cancer Control Programme and managed by the Irish Cancer Society. It is for patients who are having difficulty getting to and from their treatments while attending one of the national centres of excellence.

Family

The Irish Cancer Society's Children's Fund

The Irish Cancer Society’s Children's Fund Programme is available to assist children and their families on active treatment for a cancer diagnosis. 

Nurseline 1

Free support over the phone and email

Our Cancer Nurseline is free to call on 1800 200 700 for parents of children with cancer and can give advice on all types of cancer, coping, supports available and more. You can also email the Nurseline at cancernurseline@irishcancer.ie.

Night Nurse Mary

In-home end of life nursing care

We provide end-of-life care for cancer patients in their own home. Our specialist palliative care nurses do care for patients of all ages, including children.

Cancer nurse and volunteer in front of a Daffodil Centre

One-to-one advice and information

Our Daffodil Centres are located in thirteen hospitals nationwide. The centres are staffed by cancer nurses and trained volunteers who provide confidential advice, support and information to anyone affected by cancer, including children and family of children going through cancer.

Research on cancer in children and teenagers

Since the Society was founded in 1963, we have spent over €33m on cancer research thanks to the support of our donors and volunteers.

We have funded research which has contributed to breakthroughs in cancers which affect children as well as adults.

An example of this is our support for the research which led to the development of Gleevac, the drug which has made a huge difference to patients with leukaemia.

We are currently funding over €100,000 on a study that aims to explore inequalities in childhood cancer survival rates, stage of diagnosis, and long-term health outcomes.

Frequently asked questions about childhood cancer and the Irish Cancer Society

What is the Irish Cancer Society expenditure in the area of childhood cancer?

Many of our services are not specified to any individual cancer therefore it is difficult to give an accurate percentage of spending on childhood cancer.

In 2019 we spent over x on supports for children with cancer.

Why don’t you fund more childhood cancer research?

We are the largest voluntary funder of cancer research in Ireland. Paediatric cancer researchers are invited to apply for funding.

We commission research projects based on a peer reviewed open call procedure. This means that we do not decide what research is funded. Researchers apply for funding and their applications are internationally peer reviewed and decisions are made based on the potential impact of the research proposals.

We are committed to a future without cancer and we believe that cancer research is one of the most important ways we can achieve this. We are actively seeking applications for funding in the area of paediatric cancer research. Applications proposing to complete research into childhood cancers are, however, extremely rare.

Why does the Society not do more for children with cancer and their families?

As a charity, it is our duty to spend the funds so generously donated to us as effectively as possible, and use them where they will have the most impact.

There are over 200 kinds of cancer, over 40,000 people diagnosed with cancer each year, and over 150,000 people living with cancer in Ireland. This is a very large and complex disease and a big population of people with diverse needs that will need support.

Our strategy is to do what we can to support these people while also trying to reduce the number of people who may get cancer in the future through help promotion and research, while lobbying for the best cancer services possible.

For more information

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Phone

1800 200 700

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Email