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Stem Cell Transplant abd has a 2 and 4 year old

Hello, I found this forum hoping to get some information/ strategies on how to handle small children in the same house as a stem cell transplant. My 32 year old sister has relapsed Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She didn’t qualify for a trial so at this time it will be ICE and a SCT. She has a two and a four-year-old. Other then trying to keep them clean and healthy... does anyone have any suggestions? How much “contact” should she have with them directly after coming home from the SCT? I don’t want to endanger my sister (especially during cold/flu season) and I don’t want to confuse the kids. The SCT scares me. Thank you.


  • Hi there and welcome to the forum. I’m one of the community champions here and a SCT patient myself.

    I don’t think there’s any reason that your sister should need to be kept away from her children and every reason that they should have normal contact with her. It will help them all get through it. It’s right that you should be cautious and your precaution of keeping them clean and healthy is the right thing to do. She will be susceptible to infections when her immune system is low, but unless they have coughs, colds or sniffles they should be able to have normal contact with her.

    It’s worth having a discussion with her medical team who will no doubt be aware of her situation and be able to give more detailed guidance on what precautions to take around her children. My own children were 10 when I had my transplant so a bit older, but they possibly had more possibilities of transferring infections carried home from school that hopefully your sisters young ones won’t be exposed to as much.

    I’m fairly sure we’ve had a discussion about this before and there will undoubtedly be others that have been in a similar situation. If I can find the discussion I’ll post the link and I’m sure others will be able to share their experiences.

    There’s no doubt that a SCT is a daunting situation and can be scary, but we’re all here to support you and help you get through this.

    How is your sister at the moment? Hopefully she is doing ok and is ready to face the treatment. Her children will be able to help give her the determination to get through it and back to normal.

    Sending best wishes to you all,


  • HI, I am the lead nurse in patient services.

    Steve is absolutely right that its important that your sister has contact with her children and as long as they are well this should not be a problem. Its really important to keep life as normal as possible, Be aware of any infections going around nursery or families that she might be in contact with is helpful to know what situations to avoid while your sister recovers. Encourage your sister to discuss it with her team so she gets their advice and reassurance.

    Its normal for you to be apprehensive about the transplant maybe have a look at our fact sheets on transplants or booklets on infections https://www.anthonynolan.org/patients-and-families/order-or-download-publications. This might help you to know what to expect. The forum is a great place to share and ask questions so continue to do this and I am sure you will get support from those that have been through it.

    Best wishes

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