Buddy Check: Kids Support Group at Kaiser Hospital

Buddy Check: Kids Support Group at Kaiser Hospital

Kaiser Hospital offers a free six week program for kids whose parents have cancer. For more information call (559) 458-4475.
Kaiser Hospital offers a free six week program for kids whose parents have cancer.
It may look like a fun summer arts and craft session, but it's really so much more.
It's called the "CLIMB" program at Kaiser Hospital in Fresno.  "CLIMB" meaning "CHILDREN'S LIVES INCLUDE MOMENTS OF BRAVERY"  It's a support group for kids whose parents have cancer.

Kaiser Oncologist Dr.Brandy Box oversees the group along with social worker Rana Yamamura.  They use art and games to help the kids cope.   According to Dr. Box, "F
irst thing they hear cancer, they wonder what they did wrong. We get them to do games.  Silly things to get them to talk and we get them to talk through art.  So we do crafts."

CLIMB is a 6 week program.  At this session, they're making a tree.  The leaves symbolize their visible traits.  Social worker Rana Yamamura says the bottom of the tree symbolizes something else.  She says, "W
e ask them to go on the bottom and go really deeply rooted.  Things you may not share.  Not obvious.  To teacher, or friends or family and they write their concerns."

For 14-year-old Joshua and 11-year-old Jason Olson whose mom has breast cancer, the sessions really helped.

Joshua says, "It was pretty hard.  Like I felt it was all my fault and over time when I came here they just explained it to you saying it's not your fault."
 
Jason says, "Knowing there are other people here going through what's happening, you're not the only one."  

It's an important lesson for kids in a family crisis.  Bravely facing the fear of cancer and climbing beyond it.
For more information about the CLIMB Program call the Kaiser Oncology Department at (559) 458-4475.
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