Please find some additional resources to help you getting the support you need for yourself and your children.
Cuddle My Kids provides free in-home programs and out-of-home services to families dealing with cancer. Programs include creative play, arts and crafts, and educational resources.
In-home programs are only available in suburban Philadelphia. Educational resources and backpacks can be mailed to any family, hospital, cancer center or hospice across the nation.
Organized by college students, Camp Kesem is a free, one-week sleep-away summer camp for children with a parent who has or has had cancer. The camps are held on college campuses throughout the United States. Each of the camps is organized and operated by a group of student leaders. For children ages 6 – 18.
Camp Angel provides three days of therapeutic activities for children and teens with a parent or caregiver living with cancer, free of charge. The camp provides a unique opportunity for children and teens to have fun and enjoy camp activities, along with intentional and meaningful activities lead by trained volunteers and staff. All children must have completed kindergarten and turned 6 by September 1. Children aged 6 – 12 attend day camp. Teens (13 – 18) stay overnight.
Located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Camp Carefree is a free, one-week camp experience for kids living with chronic illnesses, but also offers a free, one-week camp for children of parents with significant health conditions. They accept children of parents who have many kinds of illnesses through an application process.
Located in Stokesdale, North Carolina
Kids Konnected provides support, community, and education to children who have a parent with cancer, or have had a parent who has passed away from cancer. These groups include art, writing, support, and discussions.
Programs across California and in Las Vegas, Nevada
KidsCan! provides educational and emotional support for children who have a parent with cancer. These programs include group meetings at local hospitals that involve arts and crafts, group discussions and music and puppetry.
Offered in North Carolina and in St. Louis, Missouri
American Cancer Society, “Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer”
A series of guides which offers information on helping children understand and deal with cancer in another family member.
National Cancer Institute, “When Your Parent Has Cancer”
A guide for teens, this online toolkit shares experiences of other teens who have gone through similar experiences. This book prepares teens for some of the feelings they may face when their parent is goin through cancer.
Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, “Talking to Kids and Teens About Cancer”
Another guide for talking with children about cancer, this resource answers common questions and provides advice on how best to answer the difficult ones your children will ask.
Cancer in Our Family: Helping Children Cope With a Parent’s Illness, 2nd edition (2012), Sue P. Heiney, PhD, RN and Joan F. Hermann, MSW, LSW; American Cancer Society.
A guide that teaches parents how to talk to children and relieve some of their fears. Expert advice provides psychosocial approaches ot help children cope, and teach children about their diagnosis.
How to Help Children Through a Parent’s Serious Illness, 2nd edition (2011), Kathleen McCue, MA, CCLS and Ron Bonn; St. Martin’s.
This book explores the major issues and developments from the last decade that affect children today, including the dangers and opportunities of the Internet, a deeper understanding of how hereditary diseases affect children, the impact of the nation's explosive growth in single-parent families, and new insights into how family trauma and a parent's mental illness may affect children.
When a Parent Has Cancer: A Guide to Caring for Your Children (2004), Wendy S. Harpham, MD; HarperCollins.
Dr. Harpham lays the groundwork of her book with specific plans for helping children through the upheaval of a parent's diagnosis and treatment, remission and recovery, and if necessary, confronting the possibility of death. She emphasizes the importance of being honest with children about the gravity of the illness, while assuring them that their basic needs will always be met.
Fox Chase Cancer Center, A Parent’s Guide to Helping Children Cope (video, 1996) To order, call the Fox Chase Cancer Center (Philadelphia, PA) at (215) 728- 2668.
Lundbeck Canada “Someone in my family has cancer.” This four-minute video is encouraged to be a conversation starter for children and their parents.
ReThink Breast Cancer, ReThink “Talking to Kids About Cancer” Series. ReThink, an organization based in Canada, has several videos for children to help them understand and identify their feelings. This website also provides toolkits for parents to talk to their children, and a creative guide for kids.