Cancer doesn’t just impact the lives of patients – it affects their loved ones too. Some of the most vulnerable are cancer patients’ children.

To help those children better cope, Boca Raton Regional Hospital introduced a program called CLIMB, which stands for Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery.

 

CLIMB was developed by the nonprofit Children’s Treehouse Foundation, an organization focused on offering emotional support to children whose parents have cancer. The program, for children ages 6 to 11 years, gives kids a safe environment for sharing their feelings and concerns.

Free to eligible children, the program is directed by a specially trained clinical social worker and meets once a week for four weeks.

Leading cancer centers, including MD Anderson and Memorial Sloan-Kettering, implemented the program and found it positively impacts the lives of children involved.

“Our colleagues at other institutions have found the CLIMB Program to be very beneficial at increasing a child’s understanding of cancer and its treatments, normalizing  their feelings of sadness and better equipping them to express and manage any anger they may be experiencing,” says Elsa Raynor, a licensed clinical social worker at Boca Regional’s Eugene M. and Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute.

The program also improves communication among parents and their children, helping children better understand that the cancer is not their fault and they’re not alone.

The CLIMB Program is among many Lynn Cancer Institute initiatives aimed at addressing non-clinical needs of a cancer patient and their loved ones.

It’s a component of the institute’s broader HUGS (Helping U Get Support) Program, a comprehensive effort to support children and teens. Both are part of the umbrella CINDY Bertuch Rosencrans Life Expressions Program, which was founded at the institute and provides emotional, personal, educational and logistical support for a patient and their family at all phases of diagnosis and treatment, with an emphasis on supporting the end-of-life process.

“We take great pride in the therapeutic aspects of our services at the Lynn Cancer Institute, which have received national recognition for their quality and capabilities,” says Louise Morrell, who specializes in oncology and internal medicine at the Boca Raton Regional Hospital. “That said, we have made a concerted effort to also provide the psychosocial support and care for patients and their families that is so vitally important and often lacks the emphasis it deserves. These unique programs are indicative of that commitment.”

For more information about CLIMB and other programs at the Lynn Cancer Institute , call 561/955-5265 or visit http://www.brrh.com/Cancer_Institute.aspx.

In other news….

Here are some free health lectures coming up at West Boca Medical Center:

 

Orthopedic Surgeon Clive Woods will talk about ankle arthritis and the latest in total ankle replacement surgery.

When: Thursday, Dec. 12 at noon

Where: West Boca Medical Center, Education Center, 21644 State Road 7, Boca Raton

Registered dietician Nicole Marchand will discuss how to eat healthy through the holidays.

When: Thursday, December 19 at noon

Where: West Boca Medical Center, Education Center, 21644 State Road 7, Boca Raton

Pharmacist Jackie Frost will address food and drug interactions.

When: Friday, December 20 at noon

Where: West Boca Medical Center, Education Center, 21644 State Road 7, Boca Raton

To register for any of these community events, click here or call 561/488-8000 

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About Lisette
Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on www.wordscomealive.com.