Breast Cancer Awareness Month program focuses on family

October 05, 2011

It cannot be denied that a cancer diagnosis would rock anyone’s world. One immediate thought of parents and grandparents who have been diagnosed is about the youngest ones in their lives, their children and grandchildren. No one wants to frighten a child. Although support groups are available, there are limited resources available in central Pennsylvania to address the needs of children whose parents or grandparents are in treatment.

The Penn State Hershey Breast Center team offers a program called CLIMB®: Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery. This program, developed by the Children’s Treehouse Foundation, 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 age 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 Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s East Health Campus, 30 Hope Drive, Entrance A, 1710 A and B.

The upcoming session is scheduled to run Oct. 20 through Nov. 17. 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

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 05, 2011