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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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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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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Sibling Spotlight: Brandon the Wonder

The feeling of support and connection between the families and staff is deep rooted and families will often look to the Family Support team as a lifeline in challenging times. This month’s very special Sibling Spotlight, Brandon, was only two years old when his older sister Melanie died after a long battle with cancer.

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A SIBLING STORY: Finding A Way Through Grief

Cooper, now seven years old, participated in the Friends of Karen Sibling Support program with creative arts therapist Siobhan. Cooper’s mother Joan shared that Friends of Karen’s ongoing support has been helpful as they grieve the loss of Cooper’s older brother Astor. Astor passed away at age eight after being treated for Childhood Cerebral Adrenoleukodystrophy, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder

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Sibling Spotlight: Demario

In the height of the Covid pandemic, Demario’s then one-year-old brother, Kemario, diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia at birth, moved to New York with their mother, Sasha, to find the best treatment she could while Demario, age seven, remained in his home country of Jamaica with his father and extended family. Kemario underwent a bone marrow transplant and suffered repeated

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National Siblings Day: April 10, 2023

The more complicated the world seems to become the more excuses we look for to celebrate. Holidays and special days bring meaning, nurture connections and give us something to look forward to and hope for. Of course there are the famous ones filled with spooky costumes, trimmed trees and seder plates, but if you research thoroughly enough, you can find

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Yasir, Yusra, and Muhammad

When siblings Yasir, Yusra, and Muhammad are in a Sibling Support session or participating in the Friends Having Fun virtual group they exude an immediate jolt of exuberant energy. They bring their vibrant personalities, friendly competition, and passion to whatever they do, whether it is drawing their feelings, discussing their struggles or breaking out their best moves in a freeze

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Sibling Spotlight: Ana, Elizabeth, and Ronald

Our Sibling Support Services encourages social emotional learning by having participants identify and discuss various emotions. Social emotional learning is important for children and adults in order to understand and express ourselves better. This is especially true when a sibling has been diagnosed with an illness. It raises various emotions for all family members. Some emotions that arise include sadness,

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