Dempsey Center offers support for children affected by cancer

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LEWISTON – The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center will offer a free support group for children, ages 6-11, affected by cancer and their parents or adult caregivers. CLIMB (Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) is a six-week program designed by the Children’s Treehouse Foundation and will take place Mondays, beginning Feb. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. at CMMC, 12 High St.

Each week, the children’s group will focus on a select topic or feeling.

Feb 6: All About Me. Each child will be encouraged to share things about themselves with a focus on making new connections and friends.

Feb. 13: What’s Cancer? Cancer education and a field trip to the hospital will help make treatment more understandable and less scary.

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Feb. 20: It’s Okay to Feel Sad. The kids will participate in an art activity to help them talk about difficult feelings. The Tear Cup will help them find ways to feel better when they feel overwhelmed.

Feb. 27: Cancer Can Be Scary. The group will discuss things that scare them and things that help them feel strong. Puppet making will assist in identifying each child’s strengths.

March 5: It’s Not Fair! Kids will take part in an art project in which kids will identify things that make them mad, how to talk about them and how to let those feelings go without hurting themselves or others.

March 12: I Love You. The final night is focused on the sick loved one. Each child will create a caring card that will express their feelings to the person with cancer. The group will culminate with a celebration and graduation.

Children’s Program coordinator Tookie Bright and registered nurse Renee Courtemanche will lead the children’s group. Karen DeGrandpre will lead the parent/caregiver’s group. A light meal will be provided each week.

Required preregistration is available by calling the Dempsey Center at 795-8250, toll-free 1-877-336-7287 or online at www.dempseycenter.org. For more information, contact Tookie Bright at 795-8256.

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