Resources for Families Dealing with the Emotional Impacts of a Childhood Cancer Diagnosis


Kumiko is here to share the story of how she and her son both found happiness while struggling with the overwhelming news of his cancer diagnosis. As parents, patients, and doctors focus on his treatment, the emotional health of the family often gets overlooked. Kumiko discusses how she recognized the signs of depression in herself and her son and how they also found the support needed to make themselves better.

September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month, so The UpBeat is spending this month interviewing guests who’ve experienced its impact.

In this week’s episode of The UpBeat Podcast powered by CoachArt, our co-hosts Greg and Roxanne are joined by Kumiko, a CoachArt parent whose son Kazuma was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2011. Kazuma and Kumiko both experienced a common side effect of childhood chronic illness that isn’t discussed enough — they both struggled with depression.

Listen to Kumiko’s interview.

Kumiko found support, advice and an empathetic community in Momcology , which proved to be her greatest resource. The national non-profit organization provides wide-ranging support for families impacted by cancer and helps families assist other families experiencing the same issues. They offer lots of good help online, including a Facebook message board that both Kumiko and Roxanne used extensively during, and even after, their children’s treatment.

Another point of emphasis from Kumiko was the importance of understanding that you’re not alone and there is help out there. Here are some other resources for families that are dealing with the emotional impacts of a childhood cancer diagnosis:

The Cancer Hope Network is a wonderful place for parents and families of cancer patients to connect. They share a compelling first-person account of how to cope with the struggles after treatment.

The Children’s Cancer Research Fund provides numerous helpful articles on dealing with a cancer diagnosis, including many tips on how to sustain your emotional health before, during, and after a fight with cancer.

The National Cancer Institute provides a thorough explanation of many aspects of depression and how they specifically affect cancer patients, including children with cancer.

Know of other good places to go for help? Want to share your experiences or ask some questions? Comment below!

The UpBeat podcast is powered by CoachArt, a nonprofit organization that provides FREE art and athletic activities to families impacted by any childhood chronic illness – such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, cancer, cerebral palsy and more.

If you have a child that may qualify for CoachArt programs, visit: CoachArt.org.

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