Chronic illness impacts millions of children worldwide.
Ten to twenty million children and adolescents in the US alone live with chronic illness or disability. We know firsthand the impact on families, marriages, jobs, finances and healthy siblings. Our Children’s Program is growing and developing.
Our Children’s Program grew from our desire to care for our youngest in tangible ways. It began with delightful notecards and stationery designed by one of our Ministry Partners to encourage children who may be hospitalized, homebound or just having a tough time. Offering a kind word to a child affected by chronic illness provides the gift of knowing he/she is not alone.
These same notecards or stationery can be used to teach your children to write caring notes to those affected by chronic illness. Empathy and kindness can be taught. Old-school letter writing is almost a lost art, but through our #PenToPaper program we hope to rekindle it!
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thes. 5:11) Our program grew so we could encourage you and build you up as you climb the difficult mountain of caring for an ill child. Having resources at your fingertips – books, blogs and even more became our next step almost overnight. Through our Pass It On program we hope to continue to gather more resources to share in the future.
The Rally Board: The Story Of A Journey Through Pediatric Surgery And The Valuable Lessons Learned Along The Way
“The Rally Board” is a true story about how a small whiteboard used to capture only positive events caught the attention of people all over the world and helped a family survive the emotional and physical struggles of their baby daughter’s three open-heart surgeries. It is primarily intended to help those families that are about to embark on a difficult pediatric medical situation. But the main lesson of the book is advantageous to anyone facing adversity. Included is a perspective written by one of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit nurses who cared for the child during the most stressful moments.
Zip-line is a book for kids that have a scar on their chest from open heart surgery to repair a CHD. Used by families, schools and hospitals, Zip-line whimsically explains the answer to the question “How did that line get there?”.
The story centers around a little girl and her bunny rabbit explaining to the reader how she got the scar on her chest and how she isn’t any different than anyone else. It shows her unrestricted in activities and features age appropriate illustrations – no blood, or anything remotely graphic. It aims to set a model for kids with a CHD to be comfortable with themselves, their heart scar, and the surgery that they were too young to remember.
Emily’s the sick one . . . all of the time.
Plagued with some sort of cold or fever or bizarre aches and pains for much of her life, Emily thought the dizziness and stomachaches at the start of her senior year were just another bout of “Emily flu.” But when they didn’t go away, she knew something was seriously wrong. Eventually diagnosed with the rare and incurable West Nile virus, Emily watched her senior year and the future she had planned for go up in smoke.
“I want a normal life for a teenager. I want to ache from a long day at work. I want to be so busy that I don’t have time to post on my blog. I want to run the race of life instead of being pushed along it in a wheelchair. I want to be on the ride of my life, you know?”
Penny B. Wolf
Kelly was a seventeen-year-old star of her high school basketball team . . . Gevon was a twelve-year-old who played linebacker for his middle school football team . . . Crystle was a nineteen-year-old college student with big plans for the future . . . One day you’re hanging out with friends at the mall, playing basketball at school, dreaming about your latest crush, and the next you’re in the hospital hooked up to tubes and wondering whether or not you’ll ever feel normal again. Getting sick was never part of the plan. Lupus. Diabetes. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Crohn’s. Multiple Sclerosis. No matter what the diagnosis, teens with chronic illnesses share one thing in common: their lives have been changed forever by illness. Seventeen young adults share their personal stories in I Still Dream Big. Their tenacity and spirit are an inspiration to us all.
Last year I was in the waiting room of Children’s Hospital as my daughter was whisked off for yet another test. I had come in that day with a heavy heart feeling like we were back to square one after years of fighting this stubborn health battle. Sitting alone, I was sobered as...READ MORE
Check back soon! Resources are on the way.
Also, check out our PARENTING page for additional resources.
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