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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

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.)

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“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

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

Then…and Now

Madeline's illness took a chunk of her childhood - but not her spirit or zest for life. Her experience at Camp Simcha inspired her to give forward. She now plans a professional life of helping others.

Madeline’s illness took a chunk of her childhood – but not her spirit or zest for life. Her experience at Camp Simcha inspired her to give forward. She now plans a professional life of helping others.

When I was two years old, I was diagnosed with cancer and Chai Lifeline changed my life! They were always there for me when I needed someone. Camp Simcha changed my life and I made so many friends there. I still speak to them from this day! When I grow up, I want to be an American Sign Language teacher to help kids who are deaf. Thank you Chai Lifeline!

Madeline Benoff

In the Southeast, Summer Dayz Meant Summer Fun

Summer Dayz extends Chai Lifeline Southeast's recreational and social programming for children through the summer months.

Summer Dayz extends Chai Lifeline Southeast’s recreational and social programming for children through the summer months.

One of the quandaries that Chai Lifeline faces annually is how to give the love, acceptance, and confidence that children find at Chai Lifeline throughout the year to kids during the summer months.  Last year, Chai Lifeline Southeast, the regional branch of the international children’s health support organization, created the ultimate fix for them: Summer Dayz. read full story

Paws of Love Helps Children Emerge From Their Shells

Interacting with pets has physical and emotional benefits for children with illnesses.

Interacting with pets has physical and emotional benefits for children with illnesses.*
*Photo used for illustrative purposes only.

In the spring of 2016, Eli was diagnosed with a serious chronic disorder. As the realities of his new life, one where he would be more restricted in his movement, sunk in, he became more withdrawn. Concerned, they confided their worries to their Chai Lifeline West Coast case manager. read full story

Finding enjoyable outlets -- like Chai Lifeline's Family Camp Adventure-- is one way that parents can refresh their minds and bodies.

6 Ways To Take Care of Yourself When Parenting a Sick Child

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From the moment you wake up until the time you rest your head upon your pillow at night, your day is filled with the responsibilities of caring for your sick kid (or sick children!), and their brothers and sisters. Treatment, therapy, medical appointments, or school issues, not to mention the day to day necessities of taking care of a home and making a living. As you haul that last load of laundry up the stairs or fall into bed at night, you find yourself wondering, “When is it time for ME?”
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