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 is offering a free support group for children 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 May 2, from 5 to 7 p.m. at CMMC, 12 High St., conference room H. Each week, the children’s group will focus on a select topic or feeling.

May 2: All About Me

Each child will be encouraged to share things about themselves with a focus on making new connections and friends.

May 9: What’s Cancer?

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Cancer education and a field trip to the hospital will help make treatment more understandable and less scary.

May 16: 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.

May 23: 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.

June 6: 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.

June 13: 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.

The parent/caregiver group will meet separate from the children’s group and will focus on parenting during this challenging time. CLIMB is part of the Dempsey Center’s Healing Tree Children’s Program and will be facilitated by Tookie Bright, LMSW-CC and Renee Courtemanche, RN, OCN. 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 Children’s Program Coordinator Tookie Bright at 795-8256.

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