Challenge members are children aged 18 years old and under who have been diagnosed with cancer or a life threatening blood disorder. As well as this, siblings and parents of that child are equally considered members. Challenge is about the whole family. The wellbeing of the entire family is our fundamental concern and priority at all times.
We provide a vast range of practical support programs and services to our members. We provide a range of camps for different age groups, hospital support and activities, weekly playgroup sessions, parent support, movie days, music therapy, massage therapy, home help, bereavement services and more. Through our programs and services, we aim to make life easier as they deal with fighting their illness.
Challenge families are welcome to be involved in the program until their child turns 18 or until such a time they no longer need the level of support that we offer. Challenge members will always be a part of the Challenge family and community. We have a number of events and activities that former Challenge members are welcome to take part in.
Definitely not. Challenge understands that the side effects, both physical and emotional, faced by children and their families often continue long after treatment has finished. Challenge is committed to supporting our members from the time of diagnosis, throughout the treatment period and beyond. Bereaved families also have our full support for as long as they need it.
Having a child who is sick is not only difficult for parents but also for the child’s brothers and sisters. Challenge is determined to make sure that they are not forgotten, and siblings are always invited to take part and come along on camps and activity days. Siblings are equally as important as Challenge provides support for the whole family.
No. Many of our families come from regional and rural areas, mainly in Victoria, however our programs and support services often stretch to families living in Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales. Many of our programs and activity days vary in location, giving all Challenge members an equal opportunity to attend.
Challenge was established as an auspice program of the Australian Red Cross in 1983, providing an annual camping experience for children and young people living with cancer. By 1990 Challenge had expanded from a valuable camping program to become the first organisation in Victoria to provide a range of ongoing support and recreational activities for families living with cancer. In 1995, Challenge became independent from the Red Cross to become a stand-alone organisation. Challenge has continued to grow and develop to meet the changing needs of its members, now delivering a full range of support services 365 days a year.