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What We Do

When kids get cancer, the last thing they want to do is exercise. Often their lives are turned upside-down and the things they love doing are suddenly out of reach.

We know that movement helps cancer kids tolerate treatment better and maintain strength. It also enhances their mental health and for the many who beat cancer it helps them return to their previous lives. However, for parents, getting sick kids to move can seem impossible.

At Little Big Steps, we use technology (activity trackers & virtual reality) and physiotherapist-supported exercise medicine programs to get kids moving.

Every small amount of movement counts and our programs give kids achievable goals and much needed support. The more we can keep kids moving, both in hospital and at home, the stronger they are at the end of treatment, and the easier it is for them to enjoy the activities they love.

The ongoing physiotherapy support that Little Big Steps provides is not part of normal care for kids with cancer. Sadly, resources in hospitals are limited, and kids need much more to optimise their return to normal life.

Little Big Steps has the ambitious goal of providing physiotherapy support to every child with cancer in Australia. Currently we are seeking partners and supporters to help us achieve this goal.

Exercise medicine for kids with cancer

Physiotherapy Support

Cancer treatment is serious business. It’s not something you just play around with. Little Big Steps is working with highly skilled practitioners, Exercise Physiologists and Physiotherapists who understand the implications and side effects of children having chemo, radiation and significant cancer beating drugs. We are funding positions to make sure each child has someone to look out for their exercise medicine, just like they would for all other aspects of the cancer journey.

Interactive technology

There are wonderful ways to use equipment to help bed-bound patients. Virtual reality systems can make a child move without them even realising, new games that can be played with friends and family can make waiting times go faster, increase social connections and improve movement levels very quickly.

Activity tracking devices

There isn’t much left for kids to control when they are hospitalised and forced to undergo essential treatment. They can feel their choices reducing all the time. A wearable device gives them back some control and provides some choice. It gets them excited about how they can make the numbers move all by themselves. The child can set goals and challenges and see the difference their own decisions can make.

Research

You just don’t know what you don’t know. There is so much still to learn about exercise Medicine and so many things that medical researchers could do to improve the long-term health of cancer patients. We are looking to support research programs that will benefit all paediatric cancer patients.