Facing sarcoma is challenging enough throughout the year, but for some, the added pressure of the holidays can make the stress of the disease that much worse. Envision yourself scared, facing a rare, life-threatening disease and then having to stay upbeat for the family, do full holiday shopping, possibly traveling, cooking and everything else that comes with the holiday season. The good news for the rest of us who are not facing sarcoma, is that we can help out.
10 Simple Ways to Help Adult Sarcoma Patients This Holiday Season:
- Reach out early and often: This may seem obvious, but asking how you can help is the best first step. They may need some groceries or have an item they really want to pick up, but just can’t right now. Have a list of suggestions in mind too if your friend says they don’t need help. Don’t limit this to the holidays.
- Shovel their driveway: If you are in a cold weather climate, this is a no-brainer. Heavy lifting, icy conditions and freezing weather are a horrible combination for an adult sarcoma patient, and their spouse/caretaker will appreciate this too. If you can’t do it yourself, make a plan with other friends to split the duties or hire (and pay) a high school student or professional to do the job. Do it all winter long!
- Offer to take the kids: If you are comfortable, offer to take the children of your friend/family member facing sarcoma to a holiday event. Your friend may need the break and will appreciate the effort involved. Some suggestions include a holiday musical, trip to see Santa, ice-skating or bring them holiday shopping so they can buy presents.
- Participate in EDDF’s Holiday of Happiness Campaign: This year, EDDF is offering several ways for anyone to support an adult sarcoma patient and their family. Options include giving the gift of a Provide the Assist Travel Basket ($25), gift for a child ($30), buy a family breakaway ($50) and give a dinner or trip to the movies for a family with a loved one facing sarcoma treatments, pay for a hotel stay ($150) for an adult in treatment for sarcoma or fund sarcoma research ($250). All of these are available for purchase in the EDDF Shop.
- Ship some sweets: Whether you bake them and drop them off or call a local bakery to ship them, send a big box of dessert to the adult in your life facing sarcoma. Send whatever you think they’ll like, but also include something with a decent shelf life, such as sugar cookies, shortbread, gingerbread or biscotti. Not only will you give your friend and their family a nice surprise, but also you are giving them a gift that they can bring to the holidays. Cookies are a great item that they can place on a plate and bring as a dessert to a family holiday or serve when guests come over. One less thing for them to cook or buy.
- Have a cyber trip to the mall: Some people hate holiday shopping, others love it. If your friend facing sarcoma is the latter, grab your laptops and shop together. You don’t need to fight holiday mall madness to enjoy picking out items for loved ones together.
- Help with the décor: Do they need help with holiday lights, a Christmas tree? Could they use some assistance wrapping gifts? Or maybe you could surprise them with some simple décor around their house. If your friend/family member will be spending the holidays in the hospital, bring a holiday plant or small decorations in there.
- Load up your car: If your friend is going somewhere local for the holiday, see if they’d like you come by a few days in advance and load up your car with all the items they want to bring and drive it over to the home where they will spend the holiday. It’s a small gesture that will take one task off their plates so they can save their holiday energy for the important things.
- Make a donation in their name: In addition to helping them with the physical tasks associated with the holidays, show them you support the fight to end sarcoma by making a donation to find a cure for this “forgotten” disease. EDDF welcomes donations to support adults facing sarcoma, research and raising awareness.
- Holiday cleanup: Come by after the holidays to help with packing up décor, returning unwanted items and doing a big house clean to start the new year fresh.