Family Meetings

We are part of a network of Candlelighters Associations across the Canada and the United States willing and able to help families affected by childhood cancer. Our monthly support group meetings are run by parent volunteers. We are parents whose children have experienced or who are still dealing with cancer. Some of the parents are bereaved, and many of us have children who have survived. We offer a variety of resources and tools to support families in their communities. This support is essential to families experiencing cancer.

We work with nursing, medical and social work teams to provide information to newly diagnosed children and their families. We provide an information package and arrange hospital visits and ongoing support to the families during and after treatment. As part of this support, we provide some in kind financial support through gift certificates, parking passes and other ways to ease the financial burden on families.

Candlelighters maintains a Treats Cupboard on the Nursing Unit where the families have access to a variety of snack items, tea, coffee, juices, etc. which can be used at any hour of the day or night at no cost to the family. Also located near the in-patient treatment units at the Janeway Hospital is a Bulletin Board where families are kept up to date on Candlelighter activities and events, as well a other encouraging items of interest. Near our Medical Day Care Unit is a small lending library for our families. This library contains a wide variety of materials including biographies written by parents, teens as well as professionals; reference books on different types of cancers and their treatments; books dealing with a child’s perception of cancer; and a variety of books specifically for the younger child. There are also a number of excellent videos available dealing with the younger child and family; adolescents and cancer; as well as pain control during procedures. By providing information to our families we help give them the knowledge they need in order to become their child’s advocate. We distribute our Newsletter three times per year. This is our main avenue for sharing information, news items and encouragement. At Christmas time we hold our Annual Family Christmas Party. This is a wonderful light-hearted time for children and parents to get together with old friends, meet new friends and be encouraged by the progress of the children.