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Double Whammy

Double whammy (noun) – a situation when two difficulties happen at almost the same time.

Coronaviruses are single-stranded enveloped RNA viruses with helical capsids. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first described in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. A novel coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was identified as the causative organism. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Children with cancer are facing numerous challenges during this COVID-19 pandemic. Children with cancer are immunocompromised because of cancer or anti-cancer therapy. They must be hospitalized to receive treatment. The risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, either in the hospital or community setting, has resulted in widespread anxiety among families of children with cancer. For children battling pediatric cancer and their family, the novel coronavirus also presents a double whammy set of problems.

Access to care:

Most pediatric oncology treatment is done in large cities, so patients must often travel long distances to get treatment. Covid-19, however, has caused families to run into roadblock after roadblock. From canceled flights to changes in hospital visitation policies, the virus is making things more difficult. Flights have been canceled, as have many follow-up appointments with specialists. Many parents are very distressed they either can’t get their child to the doctor or because the oncologist has canceled their appointment.


Cancer treatment is expensive. Layoffs in many sectors of the economy have made things even more difficult for families. A two-income family often becomes a one-income family. According to statistics, one in three families with a child battling cancer cannot meet their basic needs because of that diagnosis.

Kids Cancer Fund is here to help. Our grants reduce the cost of cancer treatment for families in need and help remove the roadblocks. For example, grants are awarded for reducing prescription drug costs, traveling expenses to and from the hospital, and provide for emotional support services. Our Make a Wish grant is used to purchase special toys or gifts that a sick child finds comforting during their chemo or radiation treatment.

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