On Sunday afternoon, Mia started violently vomiting to the point we were worried about her hydration again. Knowing we could wait until after Labor Day, we took her to PCH Monday. After hours of going through the admitting process, Mia was given a CT scan. Although we were initially told that the scans came back clear (by someone who obviously didn't know what he was talking about), they scheduled a full MRI of her head and spine. By early afternoon Tuesday we had the MRI results back and were given the horrible news that Mia had a brain tumor.
Supersib's. Ensuring that siblings of children with cancer are honored, supported and recognized so they may face the future with strength, courage and hope. Here is all the information you'll need to get involved!
SuperSibs! Welcome Letter
Dear Friends of SuperSibs!Welcome to our website - and to learning more about our important national nonprofit organization! Based on research, as well as input and encouragement from parents, siblings and professionals in the oncology world, SuperSibs! was created in October 2002. All agreed that there was a desperate need for services to support and honor the brothers and sisters of children diagnosed with cancer. Since then, thousands and thousands of children and teens have been supported by our program!
We are pleased to provide our mailed comfort and care services to siblings who live in the U.S. and Canada. These services are completely free of charge to sibs of children with cancer between the ages of 4-18, and are intended to bring moments of delight and support to these "shadow survivors".
Of course, our website is available to support siblings and families around the world as well. Our education and outreach materials are provided to medical, education and psychosocial professionals directly in the U.S. and Canada, and also to others worldwide, via the internet, so each can support siblings on-site.
As the mother of a pediatric cancer survivor, I know firsthand how overwhelming the fight against cancer can be. While our family struggled to help our ill child survive, despite our best efforts we watched helplessly while our other son felt insignificant, afraid and ignored. It is tremendously draining to attend to all the needs of the child with cancer, understand all the medical information and make decisions on treatment, let alone find the energy necessary to be fully present with the other children as well. SuperSibs! was created for just this reason -- to honor, support and recognize these special children - the brothers and sisters who wonder in the background, "What about me?"
SuperSibs! services are designed to "meet these kids where they are." In other words, we don't require siblings to attend meetings or visit specific locations. Rather, children and teens participating in SuperSibs! will periodically receive support tools in the mail, as well as tokens of recognition to validate their important role in fighting pediatric cancer.
Also, special areas on our website have been designed to be helpful for each visitor – most especially, for siblings in The Sib Spot. Check out what we’ve created for siblings of different ages and situations... and visit regularly, we these elements will be updated monthly! We hope you’ll pass along links to our other website segments in For You, so that parents, grandparents, friends, community members, teachers and professionals can help siblings feel comforted and supported… now and long into the future.
In the world of pediatric cancer, other organizations help the ill child, find a cure, grant wishes, and even care for the caregivers. SuperSibs! completes this total family care model, by ensuring that siblings of children with cancer are honored, supported and recognized… so they may face the future with strength, courage and hope.
Feel free to contact me or any of our caring SuperSibs! team for more information – or to make a referral, make a donation to ensure our ongoing positive impact, or to volunteer your invaluable services. We are so grateful for your support and look forward to hearing from you!
Wishing you hope, strength, happiness and peace,
SuperSibs! Programs & Services
Outreach and EducationSuperSibs! objective is to ensure that onsite sibling support is incorporated into pediatric oncology care. Outreach allows us to be effective by informing and equipping hospital, camp and pediatric oncology organization professionals to provide front line integrated sibling support.
Support Training Awareness and Recognition Kit - When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the entire family needs healing. The need for total family healing is why the STAR Kit was created, so that hospitals and organizations have tools and resources that can easily be incorporated into the services they already provide while caring for pediatric cancer families.
Teacher Education Awareness Materials - Many children spend more time with their teachers and school personnel than with any other adult during the day. TEAM has been developed by SuperSibs! to inform and empower the school community regarding what is happening in the child's home and to help their students manage throughout the difficult times when their family is battling pediatric cancer.
Comfort and Care ServicesSibling Comfort and Care - Supportive, helpful and informative age-appropriate packages are sent directly to young and teen siblings. These mailings are intended to support the brothers and sisters of children with cancer by helping them realize they are special and important, not alone, and how they can be empowered to reach out for support. Comfort and Care items include SuperSibs! Personalized Courage Trophies, Books and Journals, SibBuzz Newsletters, Sib2Sib letters, Sweet Dreams Pillowcases and more.
Parent Support - Resources, information, helpful tips and coping tools are sent to parents in our newly designed Parent Tool Kit and our Parent Newsletters.
Bereavement Comfort and Care - A child's grieving journey is different from the grieving process of an adult. SuperSibs! helps children to understand loss, to process and move through sadness with specially selected comfort and care support. Our bereavement packages are designed to gently help brothers and sisters through their grief, providing support to continue life with hope and strength, knowing they are not alone.
Relapse Comfort and Care - SuperSibs! realized that there are many ups and downs throughout the cancer journey. We send a special package to children and teens whose brother or sister has experienced a relapse. These children have unique needs that may differ from their needs during original diagnosis. Materials and content are appropriate for the special needs of these children and teens.
SuperSibs! Scholarship Program - Each year, SuperSibs! awards a number of scholarships to High School Seniors. Criteria are available in the fall of each year and scholarships are awarded in May. The main criteria for this scholarship is that applicants must be a sibling of a child who has (or has had) cancer. This does include siblings who have lost a sibling to cancer.
Online Dynamic Support - Allowing for 24/7 access by siblings, parents and professionals. SuperSibs! website - www.supersibs.org - provides updated, downloadable activities, information, resources, inspiration and education. Extensive links to these materials are on the website in The Sib Spot and About You sections.