CareTalk: Blog for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Get insights and inspiration from Nemours’ experts in Hematology/Oncology.
Through the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (NCCBD), our pediatric blood and bone marrow transplant specialists offer families the hope of a potential cure for a wide range of diseases, including cancers (like leukemia, lymphoma, and solid tumors), blood disorders, immune system diseases, and many inherited genetic diseases and bone marrow failure syndromes.
A blood and bone marrow transplant replaces diseased or damaged cells
in children whose normal blood cells either aren’t working correctly or have been crowded out by abnormal cells. These damaged or diseased cells are immature cells that can develop into healthy blood cells in children after a transplant.
For Appointments: (302) 651-4200
Bring these forms for your first appointment:
Hole in the Wall Gang Camp: Founded by Paul Newman, and located in Ashford, CT, this year-round free camp is open to children with cancer or blood disorders between the ages of 7 and 15 and their siblings.
Camp Sunshine: Located in South Casco, ME, this free camp for families is designed to provide respite, professional counseling, and recreational opportunities to families facing the physical, emotional, and financial strain of a child with a critical illness.
When your child needs a blood or bone marrow transplant, you want to make sure you’re getting the best possible care. At the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (NCCBD), we understand — and we can help. Our board-certified pediatric hematologists-oncologists and others on our pediatric blood and bone marrow transplant team have years of experience and advanced training in helping children with blood and bone marrow disorders get top-quality care.
Children who need a pediatric blood or bone marrow transplant (also sometimes called BBMT, BMT, stem cell transplant, or cord blood transplant) require specialized care. Our pediatric hematologists-oncologists are here to help children and teens with blood disorders including bone marrow failure, sickle cell disease, anemias, and other types of cancers.
Not only does our center allow us to enhance our care and treatment of your child, but it gives our specialists across all Nemours locations the opportunity to collaborate on important research — to give your child the very best, most informed care.
At the duPont Hospital for Children, we want to make the pediatric bone marrow transplant experience as stress-free as possible for you and your child. That’s why part of our top-rated care include amenities and conveniences right here at the hospital such as:
Pediatric Oncology Day Therapy: Children with blood disorders and cancer who don’t need to be admitted to the hospital can receive outpatient care for testing including:
Integrative Medicine: We treat not just your child’s condition, but your child’s and your family’s feelings and spirit, too. That’s why our Integrative Medicine services work in conjunction with your child’s medical care, blending traditional and alternative/complimentary/holistic medical therapies to help reduce pain and anxiety, and help kids feel better physically and emotionally.
Onsite school: To make sure your child doesn’t fall behind in school, our onsite school is staffed by professional teachers who will come to your child’s room for instruction. Our teachers also will work with your child’s regular school teachers to develop a personalized education plan. When your child returns home, your transplant coordinator and your child’s teacher will work together to arrange a smooth transition of school services.
GetWellNetwork educational programs: While your child is staying in the hospital, you can watch informative cancer or sickle cell disease videos (right at your child’s bedside). Produced by Nemours’ own KidsHealth.org, the #1 most-visited website in the world for children’s health. and the GetWellNetwork Inc., these videos help you, your child, and your whole family understand what to expect from your child’s condition, treatment and beyond.
KINFolk: This organization helps fight boredom, isolation, and depression associated with hospital admissions and visits. With the use of laptops, iPads, and other technology, chronically ill children (both inpatients and outpatients) stay mentally stimulated and in-touch with their support network.
Weekly town-hall-style meetings: In order to improve our care, we invite parents of children receiving inpatient treatment to weekly meetings. These meetings were designed to address concerns and answer questions that may come up from living in a communal or hospital-based environment.
Family Advisory Council: Based on their own experiences, parents of children receiving treatment for a blood disorder or cancer serve on this advisory council. From child-friendly décor to functionality, these parents help us make your child’s entire hospital experience less stressful such as: mini-refrigerators in your child’s hospital room, to better access to social workers, prayer groups, and more.
Thomas P. Ferry Program for Palliative and Supportive Care: This in-hospital program is designed for children with serious or complex medical illnesses and their families. The program is focused on relieving pain and making children with cancer comfortable.
A blood or bone marrow transplant replaces abnormal or unhealthy cells with healthy ones.
Before your child’s transplant, we’ll get a complete medical history and do a physical examination to determine your child’s condition and availability of a matching donor. Then we’ll design a treatment plan especially for your child.
Before the transplant, your child will receive conditioning therapy. On the day of your child’s transplant, the blood, marrow, or cord blood is given through an intravenous (IV) line. Often this procedure is well-tolerated and your child can continue to watch TV, play games, or work with child life specialists.
Your child will remain in the hospital until the new cells that were just infused through the IV have created enough healthy cells on their own. During this time, we’ll monitor your child closely by taking protective measures to reduce the risk of infection during this recovery time.
Also during your child’s hospital stay, our transplant coordinator will meet with you and your child for post-transplant education to make sure your child has the best chance for a successful recovery.
A few weeks following your child’s bone marrow transplant procedure, healthy stem cells begin to grow in your child’s bone marrow. During this time, your child will remain in the hospital for about 30 days and will be closely monitored for the risk of infection.
It may take six months or more for your child to recover and feel strong enough to resume normal activities like attending school.
Until your child has been cleared by our pediatric transplant doctor and before being able to return to school and normal activities, try to follow these general health guidelines:
We may know how to treat your child’s condition, but no one knows your child better than you. That’s why we want you to be an active participant in the decision-making process for your child’s treatment. We’ll explain every step in easily understandable terms, present all options including alternative methods, and invite your input.
Whatever you’re facing, know that at Nemours, we do whatever it takes to give your child the very best, most compassionate treatment possible. We treat every child as we would our own — your child, our promise.