For Friends & Family

Do you know someone under 30 years of age enduring cancer or bone marrow transplant? If you do, please determine if they meet our qualifications to become a Dragonfly, then read our tips below for suggestions on how you can support the young patient and their family.

  • Read our Parents to Parents Tip Booklet and our I Am Still Me (TM) Hair Loss Book.
  • Provide the family with:
    • GAS CARDS: They will be making daily (sometimes multiple times a day) trips to/from the hospital. Gas is expensive!!!
    • GIFT CARDS: Starbucks, Target, Toys R Us, Amazon, iTunes
    • In-room Meal Cards sold at the register in the Hospital Cafeteria. (Note: Cincinnati Children’s offers a $6 single meal card that will allow a family member to order a four-course meal from hospital room service.)
  • Send get-well cards (Note: We do not recommend sending or receiving cards to/from strangers, due to concerns about infection, bedbugs and potentially disturbing content.)
  • Call the hospital to find out if they charge families for parking. Some hospitals charge a $25/day parking fee.
  • Take a moment to read our Volunteer Protocols, which share a lot of valuable information about patient/family relations.
  • Help the family keep their yard maintained and their driveway shoveled.
    • Drive up and down their driveway so their house look lived in
    • Offer to pick up their mail
  • Create or donate to a monetary fund to help offset medical expenses
  • Pool sick days to give to a caregiver, because they will need time off
  • Get the family a freezer for their garage and keep it filled with easy to prepare (MICROWAVABLE) meals and ice cream (everyone needs something sweet)
  • Buy or lend the patient a tablet, such as an iPad, Kindle or other smart device, and provide them with a related gift card (such as iTunes) so they can purchase books, movies, and games
  • Consider buying or lending them a laptop
  • Remember to take care of the caregiver(s): Send them to a salon or out to dinner (to give them a much needed break and some “me time”)
  • Send a text or direct message via social media to let the family know they are not alone.
    • Consider sending a daily text, even if it is just a smiley face.
    • Don’t ask questions which require a response. A simple “thinking of you” or “wishing you well” will suffice.
  • Check out meal sharing websites, such as TakeThemAMeal.com
  • Don’t visit unless you have permission. It takes energy away from the fight.
    • During treatment, all kinds of strangers come into your life (doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and well-meaning people. Sometimes it can feel like a patient and their family have no privacy or, worse, that they are put on display.
    • Be supportive without being intrusive.