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Project CHAI Retreat Gives Families, Volunteers Strength to Go On

bereavement retreatAmid the peace and tranquility of a spring weekend at Camp Simcha, 20 families came together to mourn beloved children and find strength for the days ahead during the Donald Alan Harris Healing Hearts Bereavement Retreat. read full story

Camp Simcha Prepares for Its Largest Season Ever

Camp Simcha gets ready for its biggest season ever.

Camp Simcha gets ready for its biggest season ever.

In the words of a well-known politician, “It’s going to be HUGE!”

That’s the advance word on this summer at Camp Simcha/Camp Simcha Special, the overnight summer camp designed to meet the medical and social needs of children and teens with a wide variety of serious illnesses. read full story

Heard From a Client…

The impact of Camp Simcha lasts way beyond the summer.

The impact of Camp Simcha lasts way beyond the summer.

 

Rivky Schwartz, girls head counselor at Camp Simcha/Camp Simcha Special, received this text from a longtime camper. (We’ve changed a few of the details to protect our camper’s privacy.)

read full story

“It Could Happen To Me”: When the Volunteer Becomes the Client

boy 2When Nechama Greenberg* was 13 years old, she began taking care of a young cousin who had recently been diagnosed with leukemia. He lived in her area and Nechama quickly learned all aspects of his medical situation, sometimes sleeping in his room in case of an emergency. It was through him that she first became introduced to Chai Lifeline. She would often shadow him at their events, and constantly met volunteers who would visit while he was in the hospital. Eventually, the summer after seminary, Nechama spent her first of three summers as a Camp Simcha counselor and she became involved through-out the year as well. read full story

For Parents of Teens with Medical Challenges, Early Planning Key to Effective Transition to Adulthood

Parents of teens with chronic medical or physical challenges can help ease the shift to young adulthood through careful and early planning, according to educational and financial consultants who specialize in helping families through this transition. read full story

Chai Lifeline Brings Chanukah to 10,000 Across the Globe

There were latkes and sufganiyot, desserts and delightful gifts at every Chai Lifeline Chanukah event this year. But what people came for – and found in abundance – were the distinctive Chai Lifeline friendship, camaraderie and support that will help them cope with the crises and challenges of living with illness or loss in their homes.

“Chanukah is a joyful season that we all look forward to,” explained Rabbi Simcha Scholar, the organization’s international executive vice president. “Unfortunately, there are myriad situations that affect the joy that families expect to experience. Some children will be in the hospital, which means that their siblings will be forced to celebrate without them. Others will be ill, but at home. Some will be saddened by the illness or loss of a sibling or parent.  Our mission this time of year is to make sure that no child is forgotten, and every child’s celebration is enhanced.”

The organization goes all out this time of year. Chai Lifeline offices around the globe put their distinctive spin on the holiday. read full story

1100 Show Support for Chai Lifeline at 2017 Annual Gala

Highlight VideoWatch Dinner Highlights

The 2017 Annual Gala celebrating the work of Chai Lifeline internationally was an evening of laughter and tears, amazement and awe.

Master Mentalist Lior Suchard astounded us with his abilities. At one point, two members of our audience multiplied several numbers important only to them. When they revealed the number on their cellphone, he revealed the number on a huge scroll. when the scroll was turned upside down, the numbers spelled out “Chai Lifeline.”

We were brought to tears by the hauntingly beautiful “We Are Strong: The Faces of Hope,” written by Malky Storch, Bracha Goldstein and Miriam Storch. They sang the song to their beloved sister, Hudis, as she lay dying. It was sung publicly for the first time by 8th Day at the Gala. read full story

Camp Simcha's March of Hope gave 400 campers and staff a chance to celebrate life and survivorship.

4 Things You Can Do For Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity for all of us to become involved in finding cures and enabling children with illness to live full lives as they fight illness.

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity for all of us to become involved in finding cures and enabling children with illness to live full lives as they fight illness.

You hear the news, and your breathing stops momentarily. Another child has been diagnosed with cancer.

This month is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, but if you know someone whose child has been diagnosed, the name is an oxymoron. How could you be anything but aware of a child’s suffering and a family’s distress? read full story

Coping with the Aftermath of Natural disasters: A Guide for Families

By Rabbi Dr. Dovid Fox, Director of Interventions and Community Education

Project CHAI

Any occurrence that constitutes a significant break in routine coupled with a potential threat to life and limb can evoke traumatic reactions. Many residents in our community have been exposed to such trauma during the recent hurricane and may be emotionally reeling from its impact.

The following suggestions for helping your children and family cope with the lingering impact and effects of this calamitous event may be helpful as the entire community comes to grips with the devastating storm. read full story

Ask the Doctor: Talking to Children About a Cancer Diagnosis

It's impossible to shield children from sadness, but parents can take steps to make sad or disturbing news easier to hear -- and bear.

It’s impossible to shield children from sadness, but parents can take steps to make sad or disturbing news easier to hear — and bear.

Dr. Cheryl Book, Director of Family and Clinical Services, answers parents’ questions about how to break the news that someone a child knows has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.  

Unfortunately, it is quite probable that most children will know someone who is diagnosed with cancer during their childhoods. It could be a friend or teacher, a neighbor or a family member. It might be someone on their periphery, or someone close to them. Your child will have questions and will look to you for answers. The following pointers may make a difficult conversation easier. read full story

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