Right now there are more than 12 million people living with cancer in the U.S. and Canada, and nearly 25% of adults with cancer have children under the age of 18 living in the household. Each year in the U.S. there are an estimated 15,780 children between the ages of birth and 19 years of age who are diagnosed with cancer.
Every day across North America, children, teens and their families are confronting cancer’s impact and it is our mission to support them through every stage. The many unique challenges and experiences of children impacted by cancer are the reason we recently partnered with Gilda’s Club Rochester and Gilda’s Club Westchester to hold the New York State Cancer in the Classroom Symposium on February 3, 2021.
The symposium was attended by 56 education professionals including teachers, school nurses, school social workers, guidance counselors, school psychologists, school administrators, and health educators across New York State. Clinical staff from each Gilda’s Club presented on topics including cancer and child development, behaviors to look for in school, interventions, how schools can support students and families impacted by cancer, and bereavement. Attendees also heard from a panel of Gilda’s Club members who have directly experienced the benefit of Gilda’s Clubs free cancer support programs for their children and families.
The goal of the NYS Cancer in the Classroom Symposium was to help educators and school support staff understand the unique set of pressures and emotions that can isolate children impacted by a cancer diagnosis from their peers and take a long-term toll on their development and emotional well-being. Attendees also received a resource guide with materials supporting the topics covered and an extensive list of resources available to further support the schools.
We’re thankful for this collaboration with our fellow Gilda’s Clubs and look forward to more in the future. For details on upcoming events like this one and our educational lecture series – both of which are open to all and free to attend – subscribe to GildaGram (our monthly newsletter), follow us on social media, or visit the Program Calendar on our website.