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Support Programs Are Vital To Families Of Children With Brain Tumors And Brain Cancer

January 31, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 176

When a child is diagnosed with a brain tumor or brain cancer, the initial impact that news has on the family is simply overwhelming. This is a crucial time for the patient, parents and families, as well as friends. Time is often of the essence; quick decisions and fast actions are typically required, and, in a split second, lives are changed forever.

Thus begins a journey down a very long and difficult road. Where do parents go for information? Who do they turn to for support? How will they know what's best for their child? It's imperative that these families have resources available to them to assist them in making the critical decisions that they now face.

Thankfully, there are a number of exceptional family support and outreach programs sponsored by nonprofit organizations focusing on children's brain tumors and brain cancer. These programs provide valuable resources for education, assistance and support. While there are many reasons for parents of children with brain tumors to connect with a support group, three of the primary reasons are discussed below.


One of the first questions asked by parents of children newly diagnosed with brain tumors and brain cancer is "What does this mean for my child?"

Family support and outreach programs can answer this and countless other questions by providing resources for general awareness of the disease, treatment options, and even facilities equipped to provide the best treatments available. Support programs can also help families stay abreast of the latest research that's being done with regard to treatments, survivorship, and long-term effects for the survivors of this deadly disease.


Assistance for families taking this difficult journey can come in a variety of forms. It may involve locating the right doctors and facilities to care for their child, or perhaps, working through the maze of insurance forms and red tape. Researching options for financial aid, or finding local resources for supplies or services that might be needed for the child's care and recovery are also ways in which these support groups can offer help to these families.

In addition to the assistance provided to individual families, these nonprofit organizations work tirelessly on promoting and servicing the overall mission - finding better treatments for kids suffering from brain tumors and brain cancer, and improving the quality of life for survivors.


Above all else, the parents and loved ones of these kids need emotional support. They need to belong to a community of people who are traveling the same, long road that they find themselves on. They need to know that they are not alone in their journey.

The emotional support that is given so freely in these family outreach programs cannot be found anywhere outside these unique groups of fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers. Who can better understand the grief a mother feels when she learns that her instincts about her child's health were right? Or the sorrow that consumes a father when he finally allows himself to cry, alone in the shower? And who better to share the joy when a family transitions to survivorship?

These family support groups offer not only support for parents and extended families, but for the patients, as well. Understanding the toll that this dreadful journey takes on all, most support groups sponsor a variety of conferences, camps, and other events throughout the year as a respite to the families. These events provide opportunities to connect with others in this unique community, while also gaining insight into educational and vocational opportunities.

Being very much aware of the needs of bereaved families, and families of survivors, as well, there are also support groups that are geared specifically to their needs. Some of these groups have mentors; parents who have stood in the same shoes, who work with families in a number of ways as they move through the difficult transitions.

Education. Assistance. Support. Connecting with the right support group is essential for parents and families facing this difficult journey. Parents, you are not alone. Help is out there, waiting for your call.

This article was written by Joe Fay, Executive Director of the Children's Brain Tumor Foundation. For more information, or to make a donation, please visit Contact Joe Fay at or 800-228-4673. This article is free to be reprinted as long as the bio remains intact.

Source: EzineArticles
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