Did you know that April is National Volunteer Month? This month, with your help, we can unite with John and Annette Heller to ensure children diagnosed with cancer in our community have the life-enhancing services they need to thrive. Today over 80 percent of kids survive their cancer diagnosis. But they deserve more than survivorship; they deserve to thrive.
Commitment to Children
John and Annette Heller volunteer and support kids right here in our community receiving care at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois. The Hellers’ commitment to kids with cancer extends far beyond medical treatment and disease. Meeting with patients and their families, they’ve seen the unexpected challenges they face every day while fighting cancer. These physical, mental, emotional, educational and spiritual obstacles – both during and after treatment – are often some of the hardest parts of the cancer journey. Overcoming them requires special services that cannot be reimbursed through the traditional insurance model.
Unable to watch children and families in their community continue to struggle, the Hellers generously donated $1 million to establish the Heller Center for Kids with Cancer at OSF Children’s Hospital.
Heller Center For Kids with Cancer
The Heller Center for Kids with Cancer is the answer for so many families in our community navigating the unanticipated nuances of a cancer diagnosis. These programs surround patients and families with the right people, education, tools and services they need to live a truly happy, healthy life- both inside and out:
- Patient Family Education & Navigation: Guides families with information, training and other resources– but also creates a personalized action plan specific to their family and diagnosis.
- Mental & Emotional Health: Strengthens kids and their entire families coping skills as they adjust to life with cancer, but also long after treatment ends.
- School & Career Support: Assists kids with remaining up-to-date on schoolwork, educates teachers and students about a patient’s diagnosis and treatments, teaches social and adult living skills and aids with college and career planning.
- Nutrition & Wellness Expertise: Educates families on how to create healthy diets, prepares families on how to handle treatment related side effects in taste and toxicity levels, assists with specialized feedings and more.
- Adolescent & Young Adult Program: Offers peer activities, mentoring, education and career support.
- Long-Term Follow-up Program: Provides health screenings, referrals, wellness education, assistance with life skills, insurance coverage and the transition to adult care.
- Supportive & Palliative Care: Supports families with end-of-life discussions, spiritual, hospice, bereavement care and helps families make decisions at every stage of their journey.
Established in 2016, the Heller Center has made some great early strides toward our vision. But in order to fully fund each program and sustain the Center, we need you. Join us, and the Hellers, so that no child or family in our community faces any of the challenges of cancer alone.