The Emory Winship Cancer Institute is offering a support program for children ages six to 11 whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer.
Known as Children's Lives Include Moments of Bravery, or CLIMB, the program works to enable children to deal with their feelings of sadness, fear, anxiety or anger in the wake of a parent's cancer diagnosis.
The next CLIMB program begins June 3, and will run for six weeks. Children's parents do not have to be Emory patients in order to participate, and a separate support program for the parents of enrolled children will be held.
"Cancer affects the entire family," says Rebecca Sizemore, social worker at Emory Winship and director of the CLIMB program. "Every cancer patient has a tremendous amount to work through, including talking to his or her children about cancer. This program focuses on the children, and how they can express their feelings and learn more about what a cancer diagnosis means."
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 300,000 parents with children under 18 will be diagnosed with cancer this year. For these children, an estimated 590,000, family dynamics will change drastically, often evoking anxiety about their parents' future as well as their own.
Emory Winship was certified in 2007 by the Children's Treehouse Foundation to provide this program. Founded in 2001, the foundation is the only such organization in the country to provide cancer-focused training and programming dedicated to improving the emotional health of children whose parents have cancer.
"The CLIMB program provides training and certification in addressing this critical need," says Sizemore. "We are proud of having earned this certification and we look forward to offering this service to the Atlanta community."
For more information, or to register, contact Rebecca Sizemore at 404-778-5926 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.