SUPPORTING CHILDREN WITH BONE MARROW FAILURE SYNDROME (BMFS)

When Koala Kids Foundation became an independent organisation in October 2015, the board made a conscious decision that where children with cancer are in hospital close to children with other illnesses, Koala Kids would provide support and resources for all of the children.

Koala Kids works closely with more than ten major treatment hospitals in regional Victoria and around Tasmania and we love the fact that while providing small things for children and young people with cancer and their families we can support children with all sorts of sicknesses at the same time.

Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes (BMFS) are a collection of medical conditions where the bone marrow stops working, resulting in low blood cell counts. Although Bone Marrow Failure (BMFS) is not a cancer, children and young people affected by the condition undergo bone marrow transplants and chemotherapy similar to cancer treatment.  They are usually under the care of an oncology team in oncology wards.

Seven-year-old Elliot Vanderland has Aplastic Anaemia and Dyskeratosis Congenita, a rare genetic form of bone marrow failure. He has received two bone marrow transplants and several months of chemotherapy. He is under the care of an oncology team and during his hospital admissions, stays in an oncology ward, despite not having cancer. Elliot’s condition has meant that is he and his family are unable to access much of support services provided by other charities on the oncology ward because they don’t support children with illnesses apart from cancer.

Elliot’s mum, Elissa told us that Elliot has always been included in Koala Kids visits and our support has provided him with so much happiness during his long hospital stays.  “Koala Kids has not once turned away at his door. We are so incredibly thankful to have had that support for Elliot.”

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