Program helps kids with loved ones battling cancer

A cancer diagnosis would rock anyone’s world. Parents and grandparents who have been diagnosed often think first about the youngest ones in their lives, their children and grandchildren.

Although cancer support groups are available, resources are limited in central Pennsylvania to address the needs of children whose parents or grandparents are in treatment.

The Penn State Hershey Breast Center team is again offering the Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery (CLIMB) program. Developed by the Children’s Treehouse Foundation, this five-week program addresses the psychosocial aspects of cancer as they relate to the family unit. It is designed to specifically address the fears and anxiety of children whose parent has cancer and provide parents with the necessary tools to improve family communication and reduce distress during cancer treatments. Open dialogue allows everyone, including children, to develop a better understanding of the changes taking place.

CLIMB is a free support program for children ages 6 to 11 whose parent or grandparent is in active treatment for cancer. Parents meet separately while the children meet as a group. All sessions are facilitated by a health care provider who is specially trained in the care of families coping with cancer. Groups meet at the Medical Center’s East Health Campus, 30 Hope Drive, Entrance A, in Room 1710 A and B.

The upcoming session is scheduled for Tuesday evenings, from Oct. 30 through Nov. 27. Each weekly session begins with dinner at 6 p.m., and wraps up by 8 p.m.

For more information, and to register, contact Michelle Farnan at 717-531-7942 or mfarnan@hmc.psu.edu.

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Last Updated October 11, 2012