holding hands

Family and Children
Cancer Support Program

mother daughter cancer support

Cancer affects the entire family

Gilda’s Club offers educational, play-based workshops for children and youth that focus on education about cancer, related medical experiences, and developing healthy coping strategies to support feelings that may be experienced when someone is touched by cancer. We also offer workshops designed for adults supporting children & youth who are touched by cancer.

NOOGIELAND™ is specifically designed for children and teens ages 4-17; named after the “noogies” that Todd (Bill Murray) gave to Lisa (Gilda Radner) on Saturday Night Live. These programs are aimed at educating, supporting, and connecting families impacted by cancer in any way. The free Noogieland™ program for children and families features:

children's cancer support program room

Family & Children Cancer Support Groups

Gilda’s Club offers professionally facilitated, evidence-based peer support groups for children, youth, and family members touched by cancer. Support groups offer children and youth the opportunity to connect with others, while also serving as a safe and welcoming space to share feelings/experiences while engaging in play-based and therapeutic activities.

Kid SupportTM

Designed to provide education, creative expression, relaxation techniques, healthy communication and socialization for children who have a diagnosis of cancer or who have a loved one living with cancer.

Kids Grieve Too

Designated group for children who have had a family member or friend die from cancer, this group focuses on helping children remember and celebrate those who have died as well as providing them with tools to understand and process difficult emotions as they move forward.

Teens Connect

This group gives teens (ages 13-17) who have a family member or friend living with cancer or have had someone die from cancer a space to connect with others who “get it”, while bonding over food, creative activities and fun.

childrens support group

Child Life Support

Therapeutic Services

Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka offers 1:1 Child Life sessions for children and youth touched by cancer. Child Life sessions focus on providing developmentally appropriate support through play-based and expressive/therapeutic activities. Sessions are catered to each child/family and aim to promote understanding and coping with cancer, treatment, death, feelings, changes, separation from loved ones etc. 1 hour long virtual or in person sessions may be booked with our Certified Child Life Specialist/Child Youth Coordinator.

emotions exercise

Workshops

Designed Specifically For Families & Children

Gilda’s Club offers educational, play-based workshops for children and youth that focus on education about cancer, related medical experiences, and developing healthy coping strategies to support feelings that may be experienced when someone is touched by cancer. We also offer workshops designed for adults supporting children & youth who are touched by cancer.

cancer support crafts

Recreational & Social Activities

Connect with others

Gilda’s Club offers a variety of recreational and social activities that offer children, youth, and families the opportunity to connect with others touched by cancer while also engaging in fun and expressive activities from creative arts, cooking, to movie nights, holiday parties, and therapy dog visits.

giilda's club cancer support kitchen

Kids Camp & Community Outings

Organized during school breaks

Throughout the year Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka offers fun, developmentally appropriate programming for children and youth during school breaks. We also invite children and youth to join us on exciting excursions, from rock climbing, trips to the ROM, sporting events, and everything in between. Kids Camp and community outings allow for diversion, normalcy, and social connection to others with similar life experiences.

cancer support crafts

Family & Children Cancer Support Groups

Peer Support

Youth with Cancer Connect is a group where you can meet and chat with others who have/had cancer. Each group we will explore a new topic related to cancer, emotions, coping etc. In addition to having a space where you can talk with others who “get it” you’ll also be introduced to creative activities that allow you to express yourself and those that promote healthy coping.

children working on cancer support activity with adult

Explore & More

Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre

In partnership with RVH children, youth, and families have the opportunity to take a tour of the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre to learn about cancer and medical treatments in an interactive way to support their understanding. The tour gives them the opportunity to see where a loved one receives care and may even get to meet some of the medical team. The tour concludes with a play-based activity to support children’s coping with emotions through cancer.

Jocelyn Gilda's Club Children Cancer Support Coordinator

Jocelyn Leworthy

Cancer Support Child, Youth & Family Coordinator

Jocelyn is a Certified Child Life Specialist with her MSc in Child Life & Pediatric Psychosocial Care. Jocelyn specializes in working with children, youth & families coping with illness, hospitalization, and bereavement. She uses play and therapeutic/expressive activities to promote optimal coping and provide children and teens with developmentally appropriate education and support. In addition to planning and implementing our CYF programming she is always available to offer guidance and share resources with families and other professionals supporting children or youth touched by cancer.

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