It is often said that tragedies are felt the hardest by those indirectly involved, and in the case of cancer this becomes an even more difficult proven truth. Looking back upon my upbringing as a child dealing with a diagnosed parent, I filled my life with artificial emotions, responsibility, and expectations that meant I very quickly matured beyond my years. I distinctly remember one evening when I was met with a difficult decision…I had a homework assignment that needed to get done, my parents were at the hospital and I was an emotional wreck, and the countless number of chores around the house continued to pile up. I have the most amazing family in the world, but for the life of me, I could not bring myself to burden them with my personal “struggles” that at the time were so trivial.
In that moment, I needed nothing more than someone to talk to…to vent to…someone to listen to my fears, concerns, difficulties (not just as it relates to my mother’s cancer). I needed someone disconnected from my family to show up with fresh eyes and a private perspective.
The Melanoma Angel Network is founded on our 3 principles of Compassion, Community, and Charity. By doing so we are launching a “Buddy Program” to support the children of those affected by Skin Cancer. All of our pre-screened Mentors will be trained and educated in basics of Skin Cancer but more importantly will be professionally qualified to support children through the grieving process in whatever capacity required.
By offering a non-family member to sit, listen, play, and be present we will be able to offer a private personal “sandbox” of support for children. Unlike therapy and/or counseling which can seem incredibly intimidating and “medical” we want to remove all negative connotations and get back to the idea of being friends, buddies, and supporters.
Types of Activities:
Days at the Park
Shopping and Daily Chores
ETC. ETC. ETC.
Melanoma Angel Network Role
Will serve as a training, education, and “match-making” organization. We will ensure that all “Mentors” have been professionally evaluated and qualified prior to any assignment. And we will assist in the planning/coordination of all “Buddy Sessions”
Will commit to at least one (1) hour every month to be available and spend time with your designated “Buddy”.
Must be a child (5 – 18 years old) with a parent who has been diagnosed, has survived, or is currently in remission of Skin Cancer. All “Buddies” will be reviewed on an applicant by applicant basis, to maximize time spent and the appropriate fit with approved “Mentors”.