New virtual Bounce group connects kids in WI who have a loved one with cancer
Having a parent, grandparent or loved one with cancer can be a confusing experience for children. There are many questions and new feelings to navigate. In fact, the stress and anxiety associated with the illness can result in school-related challenges and communication issues.
While parents provide essential support to their children, there is something uniquely powerful for kids to be with others their age who can relate to their situation. A past young participant of a Gilda’s Club weekly support group reported, “The group was like a second family.” Just like adults, children need to feel connected to peers who can understand what they are going through. When given a safe place to share feelings, ask questions, and learn coping skills, a child’s resilience shines through even the darkest days of cancer.
A significant concern parents with cancer have is staying safe from COVID due to their compromised immune systems. Fear of contracting the virus has left many families feeling reluctant to engage with in-person programs, especially since young children cannot be vaccinated at this time. In an effort to keep everyone safe while maintaining vital connections, Gilda’s Club will offer its fall support groups remotely.
Bounce will meet weekly on Tuesdays from 6-6:45 pm on Zoom. It is open to all kids ages 5-12 who have a loved one living with cancer. The group has been tailored to engage kids virtually by keeping it under an hour, ensuring activities stay focused and interactive. A significant benefit to offering the group on Zoom is that any child in the state of Wisconsin can participate. Families throughout the state who live in areas without any in-person support services can access the cancer support programs offered at Gilda’s Club Madison, all at no cost. There are remote support groups for adults and a diverse offering of virtual healthy living, educational, and social activities to choose from for kids, teens and parents.
Want to learn more? Email Program@gildasclubmadison.org or call 608-828-8873.