American Brain Tumor Society Careline: For more information, contact (800) 886-ABTA (2282) or visit

American Cancer Society: For more information, contact (800) ACS-2345 or

Camp Kesem: For more information, contact (260) 22-KESEM (5-3736) or

Cancer Support Community: For more information, contact (925) 933-0107 or visit Parenting through Cancer or Family, Friends and Teens

Circle of Care: Visit or to see a PDF for Living with Illness Support Group

Kids Konnected: For more information, contact (949) 582-5443 or visit Kids Konnected.


(With thanks to the University of California, San Francisco Department of Neuro-Oncology for providing this list)


How to Help Children Through a Parent's Serious Illness by Kathleen McCue: Offering supportive, practical advice from a leading child-life specialist, this book includes information such as what to tell a child about the illness, how to recognize early-warning signs in a child's drawings, sleep patterns, schoolwork and eating habits, and when and where to get professional help.

A Tiny Boat At Sea, How to Help Children Who Have a Parent Diagnosed with Cancer by Izetta Smith: This booklet is easy to use and touches on how to support children.


Can I Still Kiss You? Answering Children's Questions About Cancer by Neil Russell: A question and answer book written by a cancer patient who journaled the questions he was asked by his children during his cancer experience. Appropriate for all ages.


Cancer In the Family: Helping Children Cope with a Parent's Illness by Neil Russell: A question and answer book written by a cancer patient who journaled the questions he was asked by his children during his cancer experience. Appropriate for all ages.


When a Parent Has Cancer: A Guide to Caring for Your Children by Dr. Wendy Schessel Harpham: Practical advice along with a companion book for the kids entitled: Becky and the Worry Cup. Appropriate for parents with children ages 3 to 13.



(With thanks to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital's Child Life Department for compiling the following children's booklist).


Moxie by Harald Herrmann and Sarah Nance: Helps children understand cancer and their feelings about their parent's cancer. Ages 4 to 12. Available through Kids Konnected. Call (800) 899-2866 or


Kemo Shark by Kidscope, Inc.: A free downloadable cartoon illustrated book, featuring "Kemo" the shark who explains how chemotherapy works to fight cancer. Also available in Spanish. Ages 3 to 12. Available at


When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness by Marge Heegaard: A cartoon illustrated workbook for kids to color themselves to help them understand their feelings when their parent is ill.


Once Upon a Hopeful Night by Risa S. Yaffe: A bedtime tale to help comfort kids who are struggling with their parent's cancer. Ages 3 to 10.


Our Family Has Cancer Too! by Christine Clifford: A cartoon illustrated book that describes a family's experience with cancer and how they coped. Appropriate for ages 3 to 16.

Sammy's Mommy Has Cancer by Sherry Kohlenberg: This book is appropriate as a bedtime story for toddler and pre-school ages, or as an early reader for elementary ages. Ages 2-5.


Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings: When Someone you Love has Cancer by Ellen McVicker: The story is told through the eyes of a child. It also teaches children to realize the power they have to be an active and integral part of a loved one's cancer journey.


Our Mom Has Cancer by Abigail Ackermann: Two sisters, ages eleven and thirteen, describe what it was like for them when their mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. Ages 10-14.


Mom Has Cancer! by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos: Exposes a young boy's anxiety prior to learning his mother's cancer diagnosis, his ability to adapt to lifestyle changes with honest information and reassurance, and most importantly, his family's resumption of familial ways once treatment is completed. Ages 4-8.


When Someone You Love Has Cancer: A Guide to Help Kids Cope by Alaric Lewis: Great for young children to help them better understand cancer. Also wonderful for parents and loved ones to help them find the right words and strength. Provides step-by-step realistic outcomes.


Because…Someone I love Has Cancer by American Cancer Society: An activity book for exploring feelings about having a parent with cancer. Ages 9-12.


When Mommy Loses Her Hair: It Means the Medicine is Working by Cristen Cervellini-Calfo: Provides advice on how to describe the steps involved in cancer treatment. This book simplifies complex vocabulary and delicately suggests how a child can get involved with a family member's care. Ages 4-8.


Someone I Love is Sick by Kathleen McCue: Appropriate for the very youngest children. Ages 2-6.


The information and resources listed here are not intended to be an endorsement, nor are the listings all-inclusive. The resources are provided in hopes that they provide direction as you begin your search for support. Please check with the individual agencies for updated information.


Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

Milton Marks Neuro-Oncology Family Camp

c/o Community Initiatives

1000 Broadway, Suite 480

Oakland, CA  94607
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