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What to Pack in Your Child's Chemo Bag, Written by Lyla Kiel


At time of writing, it’s September, which means it's Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that only 4% of annual government spending on cancer research is directed towards treating childhood cancer? These little fighters deserve more than 4%. That is why so many organizations just like ours work hard to raise funding, advocacy and awareness in order to give these children a better fighting chance. 

Recently, we shared a blog focusing on the "adult chemo bag” and what to bring with you for treatment.  This time, let’s take a look at some packing advice on what to take with you for your child during their chemotherapy. These tips came from Courtney Owens, a very special cancer mom in our MFJ community.  Her daughter, Addison battled osteosarcoma and won!  You may remember Addison as a 2020 grant recipient. She is a fan favorite at Move for Jenn and so is her mom!  They are such a special family and we are lucky to have Courtney share her wisdom with all of us!  As we always say at Move for Jenn, “The more you know…”.  Thank you, Courtney, for being a tremendous resource to our readers!




Kid’s Chemo Bag

  • Comfy pajamas (option of nightgown or two piece)
  • 4 outfits (pants/shirts)
  • A ton of underwear
  • Socks
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Desitin
  • Lotion
  • Chapstick
  • Coloring books/crayons
  • Paints/canvas
  • Playing cards/games of choice
  • Stuffed animals of choice
  • Blanket/pillow
  • Kindle
  • Switch (If you have one)
  • Anything arts and crafts
  • Head massager (this was key!!!)
  • FOOD!!! Their taste changes from their norm, so once you find what works, pack it to store in the fridge.  Addison loved this chicken, mushroom and rice dish we make.  She liked ham sandwiches and bagels. Be sure to pack lots of snacks for late night as well!
  • Water bottle
  • Don’t forget your coat, jacket or sweatshirt!  Sometimes it’s warm when you go in and then cold when you leave.


For Mom

  • Toiletries-shampoo/conditioner/body wash/mouthwash/toothbrush/toothpaste/dental floss (They usually have a family room like Ronald McDonald House that supplies these items and a shower.  Pack your own, just in case!)
  • Visine! (For some reason, my eyes were so dry every time I stayed in the hospital.  The air conditioning is strong and the air is dry.)
  • Face wipes
  • Hair elastics/brush/hairdryer
  • Water bottle
  • Weighted blanket
  • Pajamas
  • Yoga pants/tanks/sweatshirts - dress comfy!  (Mainly, the classic quarantine outfit is what works here!)
  • Coffee creamer and sugar (they usually have a family room with coffee, but sometimes they don’t have the yummy additions to make it the way you want it.)
  • Earphones! This allows you to watch something and listen without waking your child up.
  • Gum/lollipops/popsicles (They usually have popsicles, but just in case. Something to suck on helped Addison tremendously.
  • Towel – The hospital does provide towels, but having your own feels better.
  • Regular blanket/pillow
  • Nail file
  • Coat
  • Shoes


Final Piece of Advice

“Bring all the patience you can muster, because it is hard to see your child go through this. Some days, they can act like someone you don’t know. They aren’t your baby during these moments, and its sucks, but muster all the strength you have. It is the CHEMO, and not your sweet baby.” – Courtney Owens



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