Program for Children of Cancer Patients Now Offered in Western PA for the First Time

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Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 8.04.18 AMOur Clubhouse is seeking children and teens to register for CLIMB, a program that offers support and guidance to kids whose parents are diagnosed with cancer.

Our Clubhouse is opening registration for CLIMB, a free six-week support program for children who have a parent with cancer.  CLIMB (Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) helps children learn how to deal with their feelings of fear, sadness, or anger in the midst of a parent’s cancer diagnosis through therapeutic art and play. 

The next CLIMB program will be offered at UPMC Cancer Center at UPMC Passavant-McCandless on February 16 and will run for six weeks, meeting every Tuesday from 6-8 PM.  A concurrent group is offered for the parents of enrolled children and will teach parents ways to help children cope when cancer is in the family.  Dinner is provided.

“Often times, when a parent is diagnosed with cancer, their first thought is, ‘How do I tell my children I have cancer?  How do I make sure they are OK?,’”  explained Michael Bowersox, Program Director.  “Children are very aware of what’s going on around them and it’s important that they learn to understand cancer, rather than fear it,’” said Bowersox. “CLIMB focuses on the kids and how they can learn what a cancer diagnosis means and then how they can express their feelings in a positive, healing manner.”

Our Clubhouse was certified in May 2015 by The Children’s Treehouse Foundation to host CLIMB and is the only organization in Western Pennsylvania that is currently trained to offer this program. 

“CLIMB, just like every cancer support program offered by Our Clubhouse, is completely free.  We just want to find the families who could benefit from these services.  Anyone can help us spread the word,” said Bowersox. 

Our Clubhouse is a non-profit that creates welcoming communities of support for everyone living with cancer—men, women, teens, and children —along with their families and friends.  Our unique program is an essential complement to medical care, providing networking and support groups, workshops, education and social activities.  All of the activities are offered to our members at no cost and membership is free. To sign-up, visit ourclubhouse.org/climb or contact Our Clubhouse at 412-338-1919. 

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