News | Published September 27, 2010

New Support Group for Children with Loved Ones Affected by Cancer

The CLIMB program, which stands for Children's Lives Include Moments of Bravery, is a support program for children who have parents or loved ones recently diagnosed with cancer. This nationally recognized cancer support program is being offered by Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute at Mount Nittany Medical Center and TIDES, a local grief support group for children and adults. The program will be facilitated by Kristin Sides, Certified Patient Navigator at Mount Nittany Medical Center and TIDES outreach coordinator Holly Torbic. Both Kristin and Holly are certified facilitators of the CLIMB program through the national Children’s Treehouse Foundation.

The goal of the CLIMB program is to give children ages 6 to 12 years old, a safe place to ask questions about cancer, share their feelings and find emotional support. The program consists of six sessions, one per week, from 6–7:30 pm, to be held at a local facility. After dinner is served, the children and adults are separated so that each discussion can focus on topics of interest to their age group.

Programs will address questions such as what is cancer and how is cancer treated? It will also include topics such as emotions and offer children an opportunity to ask questions in a safe environment. A tour of Mount Nittany Medical Center’s Radiation Oncology Department is included along with art and writing activities.

The CLIMB program is offered free of charge. Funding has been provided by the Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund, Centre County Community Foundation, Mount Nittany Medical Center and other local organizations. To register, contact Kristin Sides at 814.234.6175 or Space is limited.