Life changes suddenly and dramatically for families facing cancer, leaving everyone — especially kids — feeling lost and scared. Resilience Campaign™ provides resources to help families talk honestly and understand what to expect, helping them feel more at peace and comfortable navigating the "new normal."
In hospitals and outpatient programs, the Child Life team focuses on the psychosocial concerns that accompany hospitalization and other health care experiences. The child life specialist focuses on the strengths and sense of well-being of children, while doctors and nurses work to save their lives.
In most cases, Child Life Services are provided for free to patients — as they should be — but this also means that most programs have very little funding for resources.
Resilience Campaign™ provides psychosocial emotional resources to support Child Life Specialists as they help children cope with the ongoing trauma of cancer treatment — both their own treatment or that of a sibling or parent.
Our book and calendar kits were developed with the assistance of therapists, Certified Child Life Specialists, social workers, and families affected by cancer.
The books are used to explain the science of cancer and how it will affect a child's day-to-day life. The reusable visual calendar shows the child what to expect from treatment and provides a sense of safety and security when everything is upside-down.
Results of our 2021 Survey of Certified Child Life Specialists
rated psychosocial emotional support as vitally important.
rated these kits as "absolutely" providing psychosocial emotional support.
do not have the budget to purchase these resources, despite 100% having the need.
need a kit for siblings in addition to a kit for patients themselves.
Pediatric Cancer Patients
Cancer treatment is complicated and abstract, and kids need to understand — in real, concrete terms — what it means and how it will affect them. The book, What Happens When a Kid Has Cancer explains the science of cancer and how it affects a kid's day-to-day. The visual calendar is a tangible tool that helps them feel a sense of ownership over their treatment, providing a sense of agency during a time of chaos.
Siblings of Pediatric Patients
A child's cancer diagnosis affects all members of the family, and there are virtually no resources for siblings. As parents necessarily shift their attention to the ill child, their sibling is left feeling confused, scared, and oftentimes jealous. With a book and calendar just for siblings, these kids learn how their brother or sister's cancer treatment will affect their life, and the calendar reminds them that they're a priority and no one will forget them.
Children of Adult Patients
A parent's cancer diagnosis is a scary time for the whole family. What Happens When Someone I Love Has Cancer (also available in an "Advanced Cancer" edition) explains the science of cancer and how a parent's treatment affects a child's life. The visual calendar helps the child understand their parent's exhaustion levels and who will be managing day-to-day tasks such as school drop-off and pick-ups.
Patient Populations We Serve
In 2017, Sara Olsher was diagnosed with cancer and quickly realized that life would never be the same again for her small family. In 2020, she founded Resilience Campaign™ to make life more simple for families facing a major illness. She is the founder of Mighty + Bright, which helps families communicate about hard things, and the author of four children's books.
Cynthia Cantril, R.N., MPH, OCN, CBCN
Cyndi is the Director of Cancer Support Services and Patient Navigation for Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation and a founding member of the Oncology Nursing Society. Cyndi focuses on the emotional heath of patients and has been recognized by the Biden Cancer Initiative as one of ten individuals nationwide making a transformative impact on the lives of cancer patients. Cyndi has had a lasting impact on hundreds of cancer patients, including those with young kids.
Margo Requarth, M.A., M.F.T.
Longtime children's bereavement counselor and psychotherapist Margo Requarth is the author of "After a Parent's Suicide: Helping Children Heal." Margo has nearly 25 years of experience supporting kids through some of the hardest times in their lives as the former Children's Program Coordinator (now retired) at Sutter Care at Home Hospice.