By Abbien Crowley Ciucci and Hope Heffner | November 18, 2015 | Health Care| Children

The diagnosis of a serious illness is often life-altering. When given to a child, the news of disease can be indescribable. The story of hope that parents had written for their child may be disrupted with a few words. Whether newly diagnosed, or informed of a relapse, parents and caregivers might find themselves asking, what’s next? The engagement in treatment or return to the hospital can feel like another chapter in a daunting and distressing story. Separation from family, financial strain, and lack of sleep contribute to caregiver stress, all while a child suffers needle pricks and surgeries; helplessness and hopelessness can threaten to overwhelm. Thus, the need for a unique and accessible, but non-threatening, therapeutic support for caregivers was recognized.