For Parents

When cancer hits the family it can be a devastating and debilitating experience for everyone. For the children involved, the illness can cause fear, confusion, and loneliness. As a parent, trying to juggle the care of a sick loved one with the care of your children can often be emotional and overwhelming. Knowing that your children are suffering, but unable to give them the individualized attention they so desperately need is both frustrating and scary, and many families are not sure where to turn for assistance.

Walk With Sally can help. Through our programs and services, we aim to improve the mood, quality of life, and coping skills of these children. By creating a safe and secure environment and offering them an advocate focused on providing one-on-one attention, we are able to alleviate this frustration and provide your family with support during this difficult time.

How we support families impacted by cancer:

Walk With Sally's Mentoring Program:
The mentoring program is the cornerstone program of Walk With Sally. The focus is to match and create meaningful one-on-one mentoring relationships (“friendships”) between children and adults. The child in the “Friendship” is living, lived with or lost a parent/sibling to cancer. The adult in the “Friendship” lived with or lost a parent/sibling to cancer in their lifetime or is a cancer survivor. The mentor and mentee must commit to each other for a minimum of 1 year. The hours shared together are 6-8 hours per month.  All Mentors participating must successfully complete an application, interview and background checks.


Walk With Sally's HeART to Home Program:
This program is designed to assist children ages 5-17 who have experienced the death of their sibling or parent due to Cancer.  Trained facilitators travel to the child’s home to provide an expressive arts program over 8 sessions. The purpose of this program is to provide an opportunity for children to explore their feelings through the expressive arts and help them develop skills to cope with their grief and loss in safe and healthy ways.  All facilitators participating must successfully complete an application, interview and background checks.


Walk With Sally Friendship Activities:
These activities are a key component within the mentoring program.  Walk With Sally hosts quarterly group “friendship” activities with all the mentoring friendships, their families and prospective families as well!  The goal is to provide an educational and experiential day-long event while offering all Walk With Sally participants a sense of community.  These activities have included the Gentle Barn, Whale Watching at the Ocean Institute, and Surfing and Ocean Healing (in partnership with Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation) at El Porto Beach. 


Temporary Family Support Program
This program provides financial assistance to Walk With Sally families experiencing economic hardship. The financial support is given to families that meet the criteria. This financial support is intended to help Walk With Sally families focus on their health and recovery instead of worrying about paying rent, bills, gas, food, medical supplies and utilities for a short period of time. The goal is to reduce the financial stresses of daily living in order to increase the mental and physical fight towards recovery, hope, and healing.


Fax: 310-322-3900

Recommended Reading
For Adults

When God Winks
Author: Squire Rushnell

Helping Your Anxious Child: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents by Sue Spencer Healing your grieving heart for teens: 100 practical ideas by Alan D What About Kids? Understanding their needs funeral planning and Services
by the Dougy Center
What is cancer anyway? Explaining Cancer to children at all ages
by Karen L Carney
Unraveled: One Woman's Story of moving out, etc.
by Maria Housden
If I get to five: What children can teach us about courage
by Fred Epstein
Love in the Driest Season: A Family Memoir
by Neely Tucker
Helping Children Cope With Stress
by Avis Brenner
The Four Things That Matter Most
by Ira Byock

When a Parent has Cancer: A Guide to Caring for Your Young Children
by Wendy Harpham, M.D.
The Bereaved Parents Survival Guide!
by Juliet Rothman
A World without Cancer: The Making of a new Cure and the Real Promise of Prevention
by Margaret Cuomo

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