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Families Facing Cancer

Image of a family

Patient and Family Support Service sponsors Families Facing Cancer, a program with particular emphasis on resources and programs for children who have a parent or other adult family member confronting cancer

The program offers:

  • A resource kit with tools to assist patients and caregivers in talking with children about cancer. Developmentally appropriate resources and activity workbooks are included to help children and adolescents understand and cope. These kits are available at the Patient Education Resource Center and the Practical Assistance Center.
  • Interactions with parents to discuss developmentally based language and suggestions for talking with children about cancer related information, concerns about parenting while ill and interactive projects for the family to enhance expression and sharing of feelings.
  • The "Hand in Hand" bead program which recognizes and affirms children during the cancer journey of an adult family member. The beads symbolically represent special moments shared with children and acknowledge individual qualities and positive coping abilities. This program is similar to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital "Hope Beads" program for pediatric families.
  • Saturday morning Cancer Center "Come & Visit" Tours planned for children of adult patients. The tours will be offered at various times throughout the year. In addition to the tour, an activity and refreshments are included.
  • Selections of Patient Education Resource Center books and materials about parenting while ill and the support of children. Choices of developmentally appropriate books for children are also available.
  • Partnerships with schools and community programs.

Other components of the Families Facing Cancer program to be offered in the future are:

Image of a children being read to
  • Presentations by guest speakers, for patients and caregivers, relevant to parenting and supporting children.
  • Special programs and events for children and families.
  • Voices Gallery exhibits created by families in collaboration with Art Therapy.
  • Cancer Center and community service projects for children of adult patients.
  • A website created especially for children and teens. The website will enable children who live long distances from the Health System to learn about a family member's healthcare experiences via a virtual tour of the Cancer Center and other child friendly activities and information.

Please watch for announcements of upcoming programs offered by the Families Facing Cancer program. For further information call 877-907-0859 .


The Families Facing Cancer program is made possible by the generosity of Patient & Family Support Services donors.

updated 01.04.2016

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