Parenting with Cancer

In mid-July, the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, in partnership with the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center (UMGCC) and the Marion I. and Henry J. Knott Foundation, will begin a 6 week program for children whose parents are living with cancer.

The CLIMB® Program – Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery, was developed by the Children’s Treehouse Foundation  ( who’s mission is to:

To ensure that every child whose parent is diagnosed with cancer is given the early tools and emotional support to cope.

The CLIMB program will be implemented by young adult patient navigators, licensed social workers and trained UMGCC staff volunteers.  The program will run Wednesday evenings from 5-7 pm with dinner and snacks provided.  Parents are encouraged to stay to meet in an informal group during each session.  Free parking is available.

Here are the details!

Who: Children ages 6-11* whose parent has or has had cancer.  Participation is open to all, regardless of where the parent is being or was treated.

What:  A structured program that allows children to learn coping skills during or after a parent’s cancer experience.

When: Wednesday evenings, 5-7 PM, July 11th thru August 15th  2012

Where: University of Maryland Medical Center 22 South Greene St. Baltimore MD 21201

Why:  Young children can benefit from support and peer connections when a parent is going through cancer treatment or in survivorship from cancer. Children bond very quickly with other children going through a similar experience, which helps to normalize the feelings of anger, fear and sadness. CLIMB provides children with the support, tools and understanding to become more comfortable with their parents cancer diagnosis.

How: Please contact Elizabeth Saylor, MSW (  or  443.928.1076) by July 6th

Helping a young child through a parent’s cancer experience can be challenging.  No two children are exactly the same and therefore it follows that no two children will respond to a parent being sick, losing their hair, or being too tired to play, in the same way.  Still there are some predictable ways all kids behave and react to change at specific developmental points in childhood.  We encourage you to proactively talk with your child/ren’s pediatrician, teacher, and daycare provider.

There are many well researched and tested resources, as well as non-profit organizations, devoted to making this process easier.  Please know that you are not alone!


  • A partnership between LIVESTRONG -the Lance Armstrong Foundation and PBS. Booklet and Arthur episode DVD are available.
  • Parenting At a Challenging Time (PACT) – Programs on-site at Massachusetts General Hospital with a website that can be accessed from anywhere in the country.
  • Resources, free telephone counseling, webinars, and helpful fact sheets.
  • “Parenting While Living with Cancer” Oncologist Approved information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology

* Please note: If you have younger or older children we will do our best to accommodate them or make a referral to another local program.

About Elizabeth Saylor

Director of Young Adult Patient Navigation
This entry was posted in Cancer Support, Mission Awareness, Partner Organizations, Patient Navigation, UCF and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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