As a result of this special relationship children with cancer have with Elliot, they, together with their siblings, are encouraged to write letters or draw pictures to send to Elliot. They are able to post these either at the Childhood Cancer Association office, or at the Women's & Children's Hospital.
For the child with cancer, writing letters to Elliot can provide a nice distraction from treatment and also provides them with an opportunity to ask questions that they may feel uncomfortable asking an adult. Siblings may also feel more comfortable asking Elliot questions about their brothers or sisters treatment and may feel more confident sharing their feelings with Elliot.
Furthermore as siblings often report that they feel excluded due to their brother/sister receiving more attention as a result of their illness, writing letters to Elliot is something special that they can also be involved in.
'Elliot' responds to all letters received.
How does Elliot help children on the cancer journey?
Since 2004 an Elliot is given to every child who is diagnosed with cancer and receives treatment in South Australia.
The medical staff are able to use Elliot to demonstrate various procedures to assist to educate the child and subsequently reduce the anxiety the child may be feeling. We often hear from parents and medical staff how instrumental Elliot has been in helping children express their thoughts and feelings. Additionally the children and their siblings are able to write to Elliot. This enables children and young people to express their thoughts and feelings and ask questions or for advice in a non-confrontational manner. Elliot will then respond with some useful and practical tips.