By heatherericksonauthor.comThe Erickson Family

Resources for Parenting When You Have Cancer

Parenting is tough. When you have children, the impact of your illness on them is as big a concern as anything at this time. Check with your cancer center or clinic to see if they have a social worker who can give you available resources for Parenting when you have cancer.

Angel Foundation

Facing Cancer Together (FaCT)
For children and teens affected by a parent’s cancer, Sponsored by the Angel Foundation The Angel Foundation (Minnesota). Angel Foundation has resources for parenting when you have cancer for Minnesota families.


Cancer really sucks: info, resources, and support for teenagers affected by cancer

When Your Parent Has Cancer: A Guide for Teens: a free handbook from the National Cancer Institute

Camps and Retreats

Getaways for Families and Children Affected by Cancer

National Cancer Institute’s Support Services Locator

American Society of Clinical Oncology
Information and resources for parenting when you have cancer. They can help you learn what to say to family members about diagnosis, and help your child understand.

Gilda’s Club and Cancer support community:

See if there is a Gilda’s Club near you. They have support groups, education, healthy lifestyle classes, social opportunities, resources for parenting when you have cancer, as well as information, and referrals for all cancers and caregivers. (888) 793 – 9355

Kids Konnected
Information, resources, and support for all types of cancers

Kid Scope
Helping children understand cancer

CancerCare for Kids
Free counseling for children and parents

American Cancer Society Resource List

Join their online community to share stories, blog, and talk with other patients and survivors in an online chat room.

Visit the cancer survivors network. Call the American Cancer Society 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1-800-227-2345


Talking to Children about Cancer

Mesothelioma Hope offers information on how to tell your child that their loved one has terminal cancer. They include many ways to support your children as they face the challenge of a sick loved one as well as tips you can use when talking to your children about cancer.


Resources for Single Parents Facing Cancer (and their Widow(er)s)

Financial Help for Single Mothers Our site helps financially struggling single mothers with finding grants and government assistance programs. Our service is free of cost.

Financial Tips for raising children on a single or fixed income. In this article, you’ll find a breakdown of the costs of raising a child from infancy to adulthood. It also discusses how to build an appropriate budget to support these needs and lists support systems to help provide aid for families in tough situations. This resource is written by, the trusted source of financial data for outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and CNBC.

Single Mother Grants is a site that helps financially disadvantaged families with finding assistance programs. Our directory lists assistance programs that help with utility, energy, mortgage, rent, medication, education, and medical bills.

Recommended Books 

Book Cover with a Family SmilingFacing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer by Heather Erickson.

The 2019 MIPA (Midwest Independent Publisher’s Association) Award Winner in the “Health” category and finalist in the “Family/Parenting” category! Cancer turns the world upside down, not only for the patient but for their family as well. It can be the hardest on children who are thrust into a life of emotional turmoil. Facing cancer as a parent means balancing the needs of all family members while fighting for your life.

How do you talk to children about their fears? How can you make coping with your cancer journey easier for them? Where can you turn for support and help? How do you help them deal with feelings of sadness, anger, and even guilt? What about grieving?

Heather Erickson, the author of Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone who has Cancer, shares the answers to these questions and more! Cancer doesn’t have to steal your children’s joy or their future. Concisely written, in Facing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer, Heather shares the tools that have helped her help her daughters as they faced their dad’s terminal cancer. Cancer doesn’t have to steal your children’s joy or their future.

Books for Elementary Aged Children about Cancer

Someone I Love is Sick: Helping Very Young Children Cope With Cancer in the Family
Kathleen McCue
(Toddlers/Young Children)

Mom Has Cancer! by Moore-Mallinos

This book points out that a diagnosis that Mom has cancer is as frightening for her children as it is for her. The story describes such a situation, helping kids understand how Mom requires special medical care on her path toward regaining health.

The Rainbow Feelings of Cancer: A Book for Children Who Have a Loved One with Cancer

By Carrie Martin and Chia Martin

Children need to share what they feel and ask what they want to know when someone in their family has cancer. The Rainbow Feelings of Cancer is a valuable resource for encouraging this conversation between children, parents, or other caregivers.

The Hope Tree: Kids Talk About Breast Cancer by Laura Numeroff and Wendy S. Harpham

In this book, kids describe their feelings and how they cope with their mothers’ breast cancer.

Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings: When Someone You Love Has Cancer…a hopeful, helpful book for kids Ellen McVicker

A beautifully illustrated resource that can be used to educate and support any child who is facing the cancer of a loved one. The story, as told through the eyes of a child, lends itself to a simple and clear understanding of cancer. It also teaches children to realize the power they have to be an active and integral part of a loved one’s cancer journey.

Books for Elementary Aged Children about Death

The Invisible String  by Patrice Karst (Author), Geoff Stevenson (Illustrator)

I Miss You: A First Look at Death by Pat Thomas (Author), Leslie Harker (Illustrator)

When a close friend or family member dies, it can be difficult for children to express their feelings. This book helps boys and girls understand that death is a natural complement to life, and that grief and a sense of loss are normal feelings for them to have following a loved one’s death. Titles in this sensitively presented series explore the dynamics of various relationships experienced by children of preschool through early school age. Kids are encouraged to understand personal feelings and social problems as a first step in dealing with them. Written by psychotherapist and counselor Pat Thomas, these books promote positive interaction among children, parents, and teachers. The storylines are simple and direct―easily accessible to younger children. There are full-color illustrations on every page.

Am I Missing Something?

If I am missing any resources for parenting when you have cancer, please send the information to me at [email protected]. It is especially helpful if you include links and images you would like in the listing. Facing Cancer with Grace has the right to refuse a request, as well as make changes to a listing. Facing Cancer with Grace is not liable for the content on third-party websites.


In 2012 doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan, with stage IV lung cancer. Since then, our family has been learning what it means to face cancer. I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace.

My book Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer is available on

I also blog at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker

The Erickson Family, Photo by Everbranch Photography

Buy Facing Cancer as a Friend, today!

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