Special Love provides a variety of programs for pediatric cancer patients and survivors, as well as, their siblings and parents in the form of camps, adventure programs, financial relief and educational scholarships. Our founder said it best that “when a child gets cancer, the whole family gets cancer.”
The programs cater to the needs of each member of the family in different ways. A child going through treatment just wants the chance to do what all kids are doing and connect with fellow patients to share stories, hugs and most importantly laughs. With multiple weekends and a beautiful weeklong camp in August, Camp Fantastic, there are many opportunities for our campers to do just that. Our program strives to take children that would never have the chance to go to another camp based on their health status. The long term partnership with National Institutes of Health makes this possible allowing for the mobile clinic or ‘med line’ to be housed on site for the entire week. Camp is restorative, healing and liberating.
The sibling of a cancer patient will have a different journey, from feeling isolated, confused and sometimes even forgotten. That is why our week-long sibling camp in July, BRASS Camp (BRothers and SiSters) and one weekend is dedicated to building relationships with other siblings, sharing experiences and offering each other support, all while allowing them to take center stage.
Parents and caregivers also need an incredible amount of support as they navigate changes to routine, family dynamic and their own well-being. A weekend getaway together, alongside fellow caregivers facing similar challenges focused on respite, release and support can be just what is needed.
The cancer fight is not just treating the body. A family can be engulfed by a myriad of other social challenges that drains on the family unit. One of the most common is a loss of financial stability. Whether it is money for long hospital stays, transportation or loss of income due to a caregiver missing work it adds up to families making tough choices about what they can do. Special Love offers financial relief to keep a family afloat by providing help in paying for rent, utilities, gas and/or food.
All young adults are faced with a big question following completion of secondary education, “what is next?” A pediatric cancer survivor will try and answer that same question, but might come to a few different conclusions and frankly, a brand new set of questions, for example; am I well enough to attend classes?, does my family have any resources available to me?, can I really ask for help to follow my dreams when my family has done so much for me? To ease this line of questioning Special Love offers post-secondary scholarships to empower young cancer survivors and propel them into a new reality as they pursue they vision.