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Rady Children's Specialists

Hematology/Oncology Parent Liaison Program

Childhood is a time of love and laughter, a time for learning and growing. A diagnosis of cancer in a child can change that in an instant, and plunge parents into a world of fear and uncertainty.

The Hematology/Oncology Parent Liaison Program was created in 1994 to help guide parents as they begin the unfamiliar and often frightening journey through childhood cancer. The Parent Liaisons, each of whom has had a child treated for cancer, are available to share their own personal experiences and coping strategies. They offer emotional support and suggestions for dealing with the day-to-day challenges a cancer diagnosis may bring to a family.

Over the past 14 years, the Parent Liaison Program has grown from one parent volunteer to one full-time and one part-time staff.

Services include:

  • Families Supporting Families monthly support group; Spanish-speaking group meets every other month
  • H.O.P.E.S. (Hematology/Oncology Parents Extending Support) volunteer parent group
  • H.O.P.E.S. Fund: supporting families with financial concerns
  • H.O.P.E.S. Newsletter: quarterly journal for families
  • New Parent Handbook: “Charting the Journey…Coping With Uncertainty”
  • Special Events: Celebration of Champions, Halloween carnival, holiday party
  • Weekly support groups (English and Spanish)
  • Meal assistance for lengthy hospitalization
  • Transportation and parking assistance
  • Parent Resource Library
  • Adopt-a-Family Program
  • Community Outreach: childhood cancer awareness
  • Kites of Hope Program for bereaved families
  • Tea time in coordination with the Psychology Department