Children whose moms are dealing with cancer, or have died of the disease, have a hard journey of their own.
Here are some programs that can help:
- Kids Konnected: Provides friendship, understanding, education and support for kids and teens who have or lost a parent with cancer. Kids Konnected has FREE summer camps, support groups, bereavement counseling, multiple locations around the U.S., and an emergency hotline – 800-899-2866. They also offer custom Hope the Bear Care Packages that include a Hope teddy bear, books, workbooks, and other information to help families better cope with cancer. Volunteers make security blankets for children under age 4. Packages usually cost $25, but if you are requesting it for your own children, they only charge $10 for shipping. Click Here
- Noogieland: A FREE program not only for children who have cancer, but for those who have a parent or loved one who is living with cancer or are grieving the death of a loved one from cancer. Noogie Nights, held weekly, offer fun activities including arts and crafts, drama and games and are supervised by licensed social workers. The program offers a safe environment for kids to share their feelings and build support. Click Here to check whether it is offered in your area at Gilda’s Club or a Cancer Support Community Center.
- Camp Kesem: Kids ages 6-16 whose parents have/ had cancer can attend these overnight camps at numerous locations around the country for FREE one week each summer. Non-therapeutic, the camps are simply a safe, supportive, and fun place for kids affected by the disease to have a good time being kids with an extra layer of emotional support. Kesem means “magic” in Hebrew; the founder’s goal was “to bring magic to families coping with cancer.” Click Here
- Experience Camps: Offers FREE one-week summer sleep away camp opportunities to hundreds of children who have lost a loved one to help them navigate their grief through friendships, teamwork, athletics and the common bond of loss. Click Here
- Wishing For Mommy: Children ages 3-18 whose mothers are in treatment for breast cancer currently or within the last 24 months can apply for a $500 grant to make their “wish for mommy come true!” Wishes granted have included spa days, flying in a favorite relative for a surprise visit, renovating the room where mommy spends time recovering, and even money to pay electric bills when finances are tight. Wishing for Mommy is a fundraiser started by Arizona nonprofit Dignity Kids Inc. Applications for wishes are accepted Sept. 1-Dec. 1. Click Here
Here are some resources for the children of moms who have lost their battle with cancer:
- Grief resources and support: National Alliance for Grieving Children offers lists of grief support service providers who serve children, teens and their families. To find a local group, bereavement camps, information on how to talk to children about the loss of a parent, and other resources, Click Here
- Camp Erin: With more than 40 camps in over 25 states, Camp Erin is the largest, FREE network of bereavement camps in the country. Created by The Moyer Foundation, Camp Erin is designed for children and teens ages 6-17 who have lost a parent or sibling. Camp Erin combines traditional, fun camp activities with specialized grief activities and peer support. Children can address their feelings and memorialize their loved ones. Click Here, or call 206-298-1217.