How Do I Help A Friend With An Ill Child?

Dear Gabby-

We have friends with a daughter who suffers from a rare genetic disorder - which as of recently has them making many trips to the doctors and even hospital for extended stays and procedures.  It’s so hard to know exactly what we should and shouldn’t ask - we don’t want to overstep our boundaries with their privacy, but of course we are concerned and curious. It’s also a challenge to always know how we can help. 

Are there off limits questions and etiquette to having a friend with an ill or challenged child? 


Etiquette Challenged 

Dear Etiquette Challenged,

First, let me say before anything else, that you even questioning how you should handle this situation makes you a kick ass friend!

My son was also born with a rare genetic disease, and although everyone handles situations differently, I hope my own situation can help you!

When my son was diagnosed, I felt extremely alone. Friends didn't really reach out to me often. I personally felt better talking about what was going on. If people didn't ask questions or reach out, I felt like they were afraid. I didn't want anyone to be afraid. 

Openness and honesty is the best policy. I think you should reach out to your friend and honestly ask them what you can do. Ask them what they are ok with. Ask them if they need help.

I promise that a friend going through a difficult time will truly be thankful for your kindness.

Keep being a kick ass friend!