The treatment of childhood cancer often takes a long time and can be hard on all family members. As treatment continues children and young people can become uncooperative and withdrawn; often unable to talk about their feelings and worries. The rainbow trail has been developed to help families understand and cope with Cancer treatment and adopted by the team at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital (RACH).
The rainbow trail offers families a chance to record their experiences and help them through the treatment journey with each bead representing a specific procedure, treatment, event or milestone. Each trail is unique to that individual family and becomes a concrete and tactile record and keepsake of their story.
The Trail helps families to reflect on their experiences and aids communication. The beads are tactile, bright and can act as a symbol of hope. As the beads are given out, the staff at RACH can assess how the family are coping and use the trail to explain treatments and procedures further. Children and young people can feel more in control and use the beads to tell friends and relatives about what they are experiencing.