Youth and Sibling Support Program (YSSP)

At Candlelighters we understand that the diagnosis of a child effects everyone in the family. Siblings often find themselves left out of conversations, planning, and many things that focus on their ill sibling. Routines such as carpooling to sports or other extra curricular activities are often suddenly cut due to the family’s “new normal” of the need for one or both parents to be present at constant doctor and clinic visits or hospitalizations. Our programs are for ALL children/teens in the family, and provide opportunities for peer support with other siblings experiencing similar circumstances. In addition to support groups our YSSP provides (but is not limited to) the following events:

Annual Candle Lighting Ceremony

Join us as we honor and remember children with cancer and blood disorders on the lawn of Banner University medical Center during September, which is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

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Halloween Party

The CCCFSA Halloween party provides a fun, supportive environment for the entire family to get together, have dinner, engage in seasonal art activities and games, and socialize with peers experiencing similar circumstances.

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Inpatient Thanksgiving Dinner

The already all encompassing challenges of a cancer diagnosis can be compounded by feelings of isolation and sadness when stuck in the hospital at holiday times. CCCFSA staff and volunteers bring a “full course” Thanksgiving meal of turkey and all the sides and trimmings for youth in the hospital, their families, and their hospital unit / clinic staff. Each year these dinners are kindly donated by a variety of local restaurants and food providers.

Holiday Assistance Party

Holidays can be a joyful time. Yet those experiencing the traumas of ongoing medical treatments, side effects, hospitalizations, missed school and work, and financial hardship, may experience increased stress during this time. The CCCFSA Holiday Assistance party brings families together, provides gift wishes for every diagnosed child and each of their siblings, and a fun, activity filled party emphasizing a variety of local cultural traditions. Financial assistance is also provided for families in need

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Annual Family Camps

Candlelighters has offered an annual Weekend Family Retreat every year since 1985, in a variety of camp settings across Arizona. A second camp has been added, in the fall, in Heber, AZ.

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Educational Support and Advocacy

Students who miss school due to hospitalizations, treatments and clinic visits, side effects, and/or pain crises are in need of extra support and assistance in engaging with their teachers as appropriate. YSSP has provided laptops for youth with Sickle Cell disease, allowing them to maintain ongoing connection with teachers, access assignments and continue progressing with academic goals in spite of school absences.

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Young Adult Oncology Support Group

Support group for Young Adults

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Website sponsored by Angel Charity for Children, Inc.