A diagnosis of cancer impacts the entire family, especially children. They often find it difficult to talk about their feelings regarding their loved ones cancer diagnosis.
While some parents are very straightforward with their children, others may feel hesitant about sharing too much information in order to protect them.
Bailey and Kellen's grandfather Gerome was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer this year. Mom Michelle Franzen, knew her kids had questions. She turned to a new program for help
"It gave them a chance to understand some of the feelings that grandpa was going through," Michelle said. "Some of the emotions like physical changes, they got to see the radiation room, the cancer center where he was going to be as well."
The new program called Climb:Children's Lives Include Moments of Bravery is a support program for children who have a parent or grandparent with cancer. Staff helps kids deal with the emotions they are feeling, and lets them know these feelings are normal. Staff wants to stress this is not a grief group,.the goal of the program is to open the doors of communication between the child, parent or grandparent.
For more information you can contact Keryl Brady at the Cancer Center at (605) 668-8850.
The program focuses on children ages six to eleven but someday they could expand the services to teens. The Yankton program at Avera Sacred Heart Cancer Center is the only CLIMB group in South Dakota. .There is no charge to register for the six week session, but pre-registration is required.