A nonprofit organization enhancing the lives of children who have had/have cancer and their families by providing advocacy, education, emotional and financial support, and most of all... HOPE.
Being parents ourselves and knowing what lies ahead for newly diagnosed families, we advocate for the parents by visiting the families while they are in the hospital and offering friendship and help in any way they need.
At the onset of the diagnosis of a child with cancer, it leaves parents devastated and confused and leads them into a brand new unwelcome world of doctors, numerous appointments, hospitalizations, chemotherapy, radiation treatments with many many questions. Families are given educational materials are well as our own experience from when our child was diagnosed
Emotions run high with the feeling of being in a whirlwind... never knowing what is about to happen next. New families will look to more “experienced” family for support. Siblings are affected by their sister or brother having cancer. The siblings, often times are the “forgotten” child with all attention being given to the sick child. Emotional support is given to all members of the family for many different reasons. Dads relate to other Dads as well as Moms to Moms, kids to kids. Our social events are a great avenue of support for all.
Finances are increased and income is reduced as the parents take days off of work or in some cases, a leave of absence in order to take care of their sick child. The financial stresses at this time are tremendous and often times worrisome. To ease this burden somewhat, the families are given a variety of services which include gift cards for gas, groceries, duffel bag for repeated hospital stays, wigs or Hip hats at the time of hair loss, gas mileage for doctor visits, hospital visits, social events that include a fishing trip, Gamblers game, bowling, day at Tundra Lodge and our main event, The Christmas Party, tuition to various cancer camps, college scholarships, accommodations for out of town treatment centers, memorial gifts for the deceased child, Thanksgiving & Easter gift cards, educational books among many other items.
As parents, we are taught that we are the ones who take care of our child for their needs. Being financially strapped adds tremendous stress when the main focus should be the child. Even though money is the least important item during this crisis, it IS a very important part of it.
No words can express what is felt at the time of a child’s cancer diagnosis. Shock, confusion, anger, worry, tremendous fear, devastation, just barely touches the emotions that are felt. There is nothing as good as to see another parent or another childhood cancer SURVIVOR telling a newly diagnosed family that there is great hope at the end of the journey, as well as a bereaved parent showing another parent that they will be able to “stand” if their child would die. At the onset, the road seems very bleak with many bumps along the way. Any happiness seems remote, never to be experienced again. The HOPE that we can show and bring to these families is tremendous because once there is hope, all other things; emotionally or financially fall into place. As hope becomes real, the family unit becomes stronger and the family will be able to face each day no matter what lies ahead of them.
Families of Children with Cancer, Inc. was organized in 1974 by parents and healthcare professionals who saw a need for a support group for families who have a child that has been diagnosed with cancer. Since the first inception of our group, we have grown to be much more than a "support" group. Today Families of Children With Cancer, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization. We support families who have a child that has been diagnosed with cancer in Northeastern Wisconsin & Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
We receive no federal or state funding and rely solely on donations from private benefactors, corporate sponsors, community organizations, foundations & fundraisers. No salaries are paid and all money directly benefits Northeast Wisconsin & Upper Peninsula families of children with cancer.
We also service all of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan and families outside of this area that receive their primary treatment in Green Bay, WI.