Pediatric Oncology Support Team (POST) Recipient Update
Children with cancer are severely immunocompromised by their cancer and the chemotherapy used to treat it. POST quickly established a COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative
The pandemic has greatly intensified families' needs as these children are severely immune-compromised from their underlying cancer and the chemotherapy used to treat it, and therefore, ultra-vulnerable to serious, highly-contagious illnesses like COVID. Family members fear that even shopping for food may bring a potentially deadly virus home. In addition to the emotional and physical toll, many parents have been furloughed from work, causing great financial strain and putting them at risk of not meeting their child’s most basic needs. Siblings are still not allowed to visit in the hospital so parents have to choose between leaving work and paying for daycare or being with the ill child in the hospital. Right now, families need more support than ever because even more families are at risk of homelessness and food insecurity.
POST established a COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative that accomplished several things:
1. Provided families with emergency food, shelter, and other basic needs. With children and parents all home every day, food prices and other expenses skyrocketed. POST committed to helping families remain in their homes, have food to eat, and not miss doses of medications due to inability to pay – ensuring they avoid homelessness and food insecurity.
2. Provided hot meals from local restaurants for families with a hospitalized child. With the hospitals on lockdown due to restrictions, only one parent has been allowed to be with a child and they cannot come and go as they have in the past. Meals from favorite restaurants are something they look forward to, making them feel less isolated and like they’re not forgotten. In 2020, POST delivered more than 3,000 restaurant meals to children and their parents on lockdown in the hospital, plus more than 1,000 donuts and coffee throughout the year. In addition, we provided meals to the amazing front-line healthcare staff working with these brave children.
3. Organized several drive-through food distributions, providing more than 123 families with over 5 tons (10,000 pounds) of meat, produce, dairy items, eggs, and fresh produce.
4. Created a physically safe space for cancer patients by wiping all surfaces with antibacterial wipes that are proven to kill 99.9% of germs, having the office regularly electrostatically disinfected, taking temperatures, social distancing, limiting the number of people in heroes’ headquarters, and providing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 masks and gloves to patients and staff.
To learn more about POST's Mission & to donate or volunteer visit - https://postfl.org/about/