What happens if you have a lovely lamp and a working electrical outlet, but the lamp is not plugged in? Nothing. But put the lamp's plug in the outlet and - voila! - you have beautiful light that helps you see. That's the image that comes to mind whenever I learn about excellent survivorship resources.
The number of resources for patients has exploded over the past decade. One such resource is Supersibs!, a national organization created to support and honor brothers and sisters of children with cancer. From my professional and personal experience with raising children when a parent has cancer, I've seen the huge impact family illness has on children. Whether the overall impact is positive or negative depends on what kind of support is given.
SuperSibs! offers welcome packets, courage trophies and smile cards that can be mailed to siblings. Guidebooks - one for parents and another for children - provide sound knowledge about preventing and responding to common problems in healthy ways. Internet-savvy kids in similar circumstances can connect via SuperSibs!-sponsored personalized web pages and chat rooms.
Knowledge, hope and action are my three steps to getting good care and living fully. Everyone deserves the support needed to thrive in a world changed by illness or injury, not just the patient. If you know children who are living with family illness, check out SuperSibs!, a resource that helps children become Healthy Survivors.