When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer

A cancer diagnosis affects everyone in the family. Children especially need help to understand and adjust to their family’s new circumstances.

CLIMB® - Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery - is a program of The Children’s Treehouse Foundation for children whose caregivers or grandparents have been diagnosed with cancer. This free, six-week support program meets one night per week on the Penn State Health campus in Hershey. Specially trained hospital staff and volunteers lead the 90-minute sessions for children ages 6 to 12.

Children gain lifelong benefits

Through discussion and activities, your child will learn about cancer, express their emotions, develop coping skills and improve communication. Interacting with peers will help them realize they aren’t alone.

Weekly topics:

  • Week 1
    • All about me
    • Feeling happy
  • Week 2
    • What is cancer?
    • Feeling confused
  • Week 3
    • Masking your feelings
    • Feeling sad
  • Week 4
    • Finding your strength
    • Feeling scared
  • Week 5
    • Expressing your anger
    • Feeling mad
  • Week 6
    • Communicating your feelings
    • You did it! (CLIMB graduation)

Multiple opportunities to participate

The CLIMB Program is offered two or three times throughout the year on the Penn State Health campus in Hershey. Each of the six weekly sessions begins with a 30-minute dinner for families before children break off for a 60-minute group session. Parents can use this time on their own or to meet with each other.

Next scheduled program: Wednesday evenings, April 17 through May 22

If these dates do not work, bookmark this page and check back for future dates.

Registration is required to participate. Use the online form to register for the next session or indicate your interest in a future session. After completing the registration form, a team member will call you to confirm your child’s participation and provide additional information.

Questions? Email Natalie Chango