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When your child has cancer, no one understands your life better than another parent going through the same experience.
Connecting with other parents of children with cancer can be one of the best ways to deal with the emotional, physical, and spiritual challenges that can happen with a child’s cancer diagnosis. Parents often feel isolated and helpless.
All of a sudden, parents must learn a new language of cancer, change daily routines, and make critical decisions they never imagined. People who haven’t gone through the same situation really don’t know how parents feel, even though they may mean well.
“Other people might not understand our struggles,” said Heather, mom of Andrew. “Some people I thought would be there were not, even family members. But the people in my support group are there. Even though they’re going through the same thing, they have enough heart left over to extend love and understanding.”
Joining a support group and/or parent-to-parent mentor program can be worthwhile ways to connect with other parents.
Support group – A support group may meet in person or online. Some groups are led by a health professional. Others may be facilitated by a parent.
Parent-to-parent mentor program – This type of program typically pairs parents of recently diagnosed patients with more experienced parents. They typically meet one-on-one.
For Christine, mom of Catie, the opportunity to share and listen was priceless.
Parents may find support groups and mentor programs in different ways:
Support groups and mentor programs can help parents draw strength as they face childhood cancer together.
Reviewed: February 2023