Resources

Groups and Organizations

American Association of Caregiving Youth
aacy.org800-725-2512
AACY offers support for young people caring for a fam­ily member. The Florida headquarters and its affiliates run workshops that can help kids cope with household responsi­bilities. The website also has information and a resource list. In addition, AACY encourages young caregivers to call and share comments.

American Cancer Society
cancer.org800-227-2345
If you’ve got a question about cancer, this organization’s thor­ough and up-to-date website will probably have the answer. The American Cancer Society also takes phone calls 24 hours a day on its toll-free number and can connect callers with local resources. All conversations are free and confidential.

Camp Kesem
campkesem.org
The camp, which takes its name from the Hebrew word for magic, welcomes kids ages six to sixteen who’ve faced a parent’s cancer. The first Camp Kesem was held in 2000 and was sponsored by students at Stanford University. Today there are 40-plus Camp Kesems, with more in the works. Each site is run by students at a local university and provides a free one-week camp stay for eligible youngsters. Last year  the camp hosted more than 2,100 campers; 400 of them were teens.

Cancer Care, Inc.
cancercare.org800-813-4673
Cancer Care offers free counseling in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York by oncol­ogy social workers, and can provide information about in person, phone, or online support groups for teens.

Cancer Support Community
cancersupprtcommunity.org
This nonprofit group has fifty affiliates in addition to satellite offices and online support. Check the website to see if there’s a chapter in your area, then touch base to inquire about sup­port programs and services for teens. Cancer Support Com­munity also administers a website for teens with cancer in the family and teens with cancer: grouploop.org.

Children’s Bereavement Center, Miami
childbereavement.org

Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas
cbcst.org
Each of the nonprofit centers provides free peer support groups for teens who’ve lost a parent.

Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center
hcgh.org/cmcrc
Based in Columbia, Maryland, the center sponsors a support group for teens dealing with a parent’s cancer.

The Gathering Place
touchedbycancer.org216-595-9546
With two locations in Cleveland, this nonprofit offers support groups for teenagers as well as individual counseling.

Gilda’s Club
gildasclubnyc.orggildasclubchicago.org, gildasclubseattle. org, gildasclubdetroit.org, and more
This cancer support group is named for the Saturday Night Live comic, Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer. Clubs in cities across the United States offer programs for teens. The Seattle Gilda’s Club and other chapters run an annual essay contest, called “It’s Always Something,” for teens affected by cancer in the family as well as teens who have been diagnosed with cancer. 

H.O.P.E.
hopeforcancerfamilies.org717-227-2824
This Pennsylvania nonprofit’s services include Kids Under Construction, which offers activities (and a chance to talk) for young people fighting cancer as well as youngsters deal­ing with a family member’s cancer. The group also offers help with shopping, transportation, and other day-to-day needs.

HopeWell
hopewellcancersupport.org410-832-2719
The cancer center regularly runs six-week support groups for teens facing a parent’s cancer. Teen Circle is for teens whose parent is going through treatment or dealing with its aftermath. Teen Grief Group addresses the loss of a parent to cancer. The groups meet in the group’s Lutherville, Mary­land, location, just outside Baltimore.


Kids Konnected
kidskonnected.org800-899-2866
The Orange County–based support group was founded in 1993 by thirteen-year-old Jon Wagner-Holtz, who wished for support when his own mom was dealing with breast cancer. With a grant from the Susan G. Komen foundation, he set up an 800 number that he manned from his bedroom. Today, Kids Konnected has a professional staff, four chapters in southern California, and branches in several states. Its teen programs, all in California, include year-round support groups, a Youth Leadership mentor program, and a weeklong summer camp with daytime activities like river rafting and archery and nightly support sessions. 

Susan G. Komen for the Cure
komen.org877-465-6636
Teens for the Cure—a program for teens who’d like to get involved in breast cancer awareness and fund-raising—is offered by chapters in Philadelphia, New York City, and El Paso, Texas. In Philly, the teens put on a fundraising fashion show called “Tickled Pink.” Other chapters empha­size participation in the local Komen 5K race and bringing information about the disease to schools.

The Komen Scholarship Program offers college scholar­ships to teens who’ve lost a parent to breast cancer. Send an email to contactus@applyists.com for information.

Life with Cancer
lifewithcancer.org703-698-2526
Based in Fairfax, Virginia, this group offers support groups for teens coping with a parent’s cancer as well as for teens who’ve lost a family member to the disease. 

Livestrong
livestrong.org855-220-7777
This organization, founded by cancer survivor Lance Armstrong, offers one-on-one support for cancer survivors and their caregivers, family members, and friends. Call Livestrong or submit a request online at livestrong.org/gethelp. In addition, Livestrong offers opportunities to join in athletic events that raise funds to help fight cancer.

Marjorie E. Korff PACT Program (Parenting At a Challenging Time)
Mghpact.org; 617-724-7272
The program, based at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, provides guidance for parents with cancer and their spouses or co-parents. Teens will likely find PACT a helpful resource as well.

MD Anderson Cancer Center
mdanderson.org713-792-6195
This world-renowned center, located in Houston, offers Teen Climb, a six-week program for teens who have a parent in treatment at MD Anderson. A parent program is offered dur­ing the same cycle. Call for information. 

Mesothelioma Guide
mesotheliomaguide.com; 1.888.385.2024
Free resources and support materials from victims of this rare form of cancer, and their family members caring for them.

National Cancer Institute
cancer.govcancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq
Part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, NCI offers one of the most thorough and up-to-date websites on cancer. The site for PDQ, Physician Data Query, is a comprehensive database with information presented for both patients and physicians.

Sloan Kettering Cancer Center—Kids Express Program
mskcc.org; 212-639-7029
Kids Express helps kids during a parent’s cancer treatment, providing brochures and referrals to therapists. Kids who have a parent in treatment at Sloan Kettering can call to speak to a social worker. Staff social workers also offer guidance to adult cancer patients about discussing the disease with their children.

Students of Survivors
studentsofsurvivors.org
This Alabama-based organization provides an annual scholarship to a teen who’s had a parent diagnosed with cancer during the high school years.

SuperSibs
supersibs.org; in Illinois 847-462-4742, toll-free 888-417-4704
The group helps kids who have a sibling with cancer, but many of the teen issues discussed on its web­site are relevant to kids coping with a parent’s cancer as well.

Tu Nidito Children and Family Services
tunudito.org; 520-322-9155
Tu Nidito, Spanish for “your little nest,” is a Tucson, Arizona, group that offers regular support group session for teens coping with a parent’s cancer as well as groups for parents who’ve been diagnosed with the disease and caregiver parents.

University of Cincinnati Health Library Cancer Resources
healthadministration.uc.edu/news-and-resources/articles/health-library-cancer
If your kids are not quite teens, check out these helpful online FAQs and other resources about communicating cancer to children.

Wellness House
wellnesshouse.org; 630.323.5150
Located in HInsdale, Illinois, the Wellness House offers support to anyone impacted by cancer, including groups for teens who have a loved one with cancer and teens who have experienced the death of a loved one to cancer. All programs are free of cost.

Books for Parents

These books offer superb guidance for parents.

How to Help Children Through a Parent’s Serious Illness
by Kathleen McCue and Ron Bonn (St. Martin’s Griffin) 

Raising an Emotionally Healthy Child When a Parent Is Sick: A Harvard Medical School Book
by Paula Rauch and Anna Muriel (McGraw-Hill) 

When a Parent Has Cancer: A Guide to Caring for Your Children
by Wendy Schlessel Harpham (William Morrow)

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2 thoughts on “Resources

  1. Jose

    My mother died recently of cancer.im looking for a support group in nyc, adult childern of mothers who died of cancer.please help.i been looking online…nothing so far…i feel lost alone drowning in anguish. God bless

    Reply

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