Katonah Connect, The Meaningful Connections Issue November / December 2023

When you walk up to the doors of Friends of Karen headquarters in North Salem, the first thing you might notice is their walkway – a “path of compassion” filled with several hundred dedicated bricks featuring loving messages and tributes from supporters. It demonstrates how this local organization has changed the lives of thousands by providing customized support for over

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Sibling Grief Month

“The loss of a brother or sister is not small, unimportant or invisible.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite.  I call sibling loss the ‘loss of a lifetime,’ because who else do we expect to have relationships with that stretch our entire lives?” – Lynn Shattuck Worldwide Bereaved Siblings Month is an annual designation observed in November. The death of

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Thank You

We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you who celebrated our Friends of Karen 45th Anniversary Gala. It is your generosity and commitment that allows us to continue our vital mission. Your presence and support truly made the evening a memorable one! Your dedication to our mission helps us to continue to provide financial,

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Meet Cameron and Brinley

Brinley, age 9 and her sister Cameron, age 6, met with Friends of Karen Creative Arts Therapist Jane and created  “I am” posters. The “I am” posters helped to discuss who they are and if the cancer diagnosed changed any of these things. They agree they are still themselves despite all the changes happening in their lives and but sometimes

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How to Talk With Kids About Tragedies & Other Traumatic News Events

Television and newspapers today are filled with headlines about the tragic conflict with Israel and Palestine, and the brutal war between Ukraine and Russia.  In this very difficult time, children want to know what’s going on in the world and may be asking you questions about what they have heard discussed or seen in the media.  The American Academy of

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Parent Tips for Halloween

For those who celebrate, Halloween is a fun and exciting time for kids.
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But what do you do when your child is missing out on the fun? Whether staying home is necessary for the immunocompromised, or an ill child is stuck in the hospital for treatment, this disappointing situation is common for many of our Friends of Karen

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A Survivorship Story: Supporting the Transition After Treatment

Friends of Karen began a pilot program in late 2022 to continue to provide a limited number of supports to children who have gone off formal treatment, but continue to have serious healthcare, social and educational needs. Olivia’s mother Johanna shares more below about how Friends of Karen has helped her family during this crucial stage, after Olivia was treated

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Helping Children Understand Leukemia

Our Sibling Support Program team of four child life specialists and creative arts therapists knows that learning about an illness is different than understanding it. Often when illnesses are not explained to children in an age-appropriate manner they may fill in the gaps with their imaginations, creating stories that may be even scarier than the reality. To help ill children,

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Summer Fun, Tips for Parents

As we near the end of school and transition into summer, shifting schedules and routines can sometimes feel overwhelming.  The end of the school year is often very busy; add in treatment, the hospital, and clinic, and there can be a feeling of exhaustion for both children and parents. Here are a few tips and tricks for a smooth transition

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