When your child or teenager has a serious illness, it affects the whole family. This includes the patient’s siblings (brothers and sisters). Helping siblings is an important part of family-centered care at St. Jude.
Siblings of a St. Jude patient can face many challenges. These include long separations from the patient or a parent, visits to an unfamiliar hospital, and changes in routines. The St. Jude child life specialists are here to help siblings cope with these challenges.
Child life specialists can help siblings:
- Learn about the patient’s illness and treatment
- Prepare for medical procedures that the patient might have or that siblings might have to help the patient (for example, donating bone marrow to the patient)
- Tour the hospital
- Get to know other children their age
- Stay in touch with their brother or sister in the hospital
- Cope with feelings
- Feel like they are still an important part of the family.