Even though the future may be short, keep focused on fun activities for your child and finding practical solutions. There are many opportunities for building nice memories. Just at home, or out and about, taking photos and films, but also for example, making a painting can help with this. Of course, you need to choose what works for you and bear in mind that nothing is obligatory.
There are plenty of options to choose from in the Netherlands and there are also charities that organise fun events for sick children like:
Make a Wish, Stichting Opkikker, Stichting Gijsje Eigenwijsje, Villa Pardoes.
Don’t wait to apply to these charities, the better the child is, the more they can enjoy it. Sometimes signing up with these charities can feel like giving up/accepting fate, but that’s not the case. It’s just sensible, but in the meantime you can continue to hope that your child will be the exception!
Make a Wish Netherland
They aim to make a dream come true for children with life-threatening illnesses in the age range of 3 to 18 years.
Stichting de Opkikker
Stichting Opkikker organises unforgettable fun days for families of children with a long-term illness. At the end of the day, you receive photos and videos to remember the experience.
Stichting Ambulance Wens Nederland works with trained volunteers to fulfill the last wishes of terminally ill patients with limited mobility. They use specially designed ambulances.
Villa Pardoes (at the Efteling)
This is for families with a child aged between 4 and 12 years who is suffering from serious, potentially life-threatening illness. It’s for children who need to spend time thinking of something else than their disease.
Also for brothers, sisters, parents and grand-parents who dream of a care-free week together. Villa Pardoes is made up of 8 large holiday houses, situated around a large central space. The building has the shape of a snail shell. Here, children can play in a safe and colourful environment.
Stichting Gijsje Eigenwijsje
Gijs, who had brain stem cancer, enjoyed every fulfilled wish and weeks away, but he realised that this is not possible for everyone. He often said how lucky he was to have such a close circle of family and friends. That’s why he really wanted to make this happiness possible for other children, e.g. having a week away with your family and enjoying those warm feelings of togetherness. He was very determined in this regard. In the last phase of his life, he was very busy setting up his own charity ‘Gijse Eigenwijsje’. The charity allows families with children with a life-threatening illness to have a week away together in a holiday park in the Netherlands.
Family and friends
Don’t hesitate to ask family members or friends to look after other children for a day. Also make sure to create special moments with family and friends. In a later stage, looking back together on these moments is very important.
Photos and films
These are important for memories, you can’t make too many. Later you will treasure them.
Make A Memory Stichting
‘Make A Memory’ photographs, at the request of parents, seriously ill and terminal children. With a national network of more than 140 professional photographers, they come and take photos at home or in the hospital, free of charge. The parents receive a little album with five prints and a dvd with all photos in high resolution.
‘Make A Memory’ are contactable day and night and aim for daily 24 hour availability of photographers.
A professional will (against a charge) make a film portrait of your child.