The Need

The need for emotional support for children whose parents have cancer is greater than ever before.

  •  In the United States, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 367,000 parents with children under 18 will be diagnosed with invasive cancer each year.
  • For the children, more than 700,000, this permanently changes the family dynamics, evoking in the children many fears, doubts and questions about their future and that of their parents.

The Handbook of Psychology, Oxford University Press, 1989, reported that children are “a hidden, high-risk group whose problems are minimized by overwhelmed parents and are unknown to the medical staff who seldom see them.”

Moreover, Dr. Martha Kendall Ryan, a licensed clinical psychologist, says, “Without appropriate counseling, some of these children may experience long-standing emotional difficulties throughout life that may, in adulthood, mean poor adaptive functioning in relationships with others.”

We Need Your Help In Addressing the Need

We believe that the services we offer through The Children’s Treehouse Foundation fill a critical care gap between parents who have been diagnosed with cancer and the often overlooked emotional needs of their children. When parents report that telling their children is the hardest part of their cancer journey, we ask when will comprehensive cancer treatment plans be comprehensive enough to give parents skills to face cancer with their children.  We believe that through the active participation and support of parents, physicians, hospital administrators and psychosocial professionals, we can help to close this critical gap.

We invite you to join us in helping to address this critical need. Whether you are a parent or a professional, ask your hospital what it would take to get a program like CLIMB® started at their location. Help us remind people that cancer affects the whole family and treatment should reflect that.  Delivering support services for children, too, leads to healthier children, healthier family systems, and an overall healthier society. Finally, let people know about our work and ask them to come to our website and become a donor so that every child who needs the support we offer will be able to get it.