Cancer can be scary, especially for children. Emanuel Medical Center’s Cancer Center in Turlock, California, is here to provide emotional support and a safe place for children with a loved one diagnosed with cancer.
Emanuel Cancer Center offers Monkey Business for children and teens, ages 5-17. Through meaningful and therapeutic activities, expressive art, games and stories, Monkey Business provides support and coping skills for children and their families.
“Watching these children interact with one another and get to know others who are going through the same experience as they are is priceless,” said Sara Briggs, Monkey Business Coordinator. “We have the goal of helping these kids understand cancer and try to process their feelings. We provide coping skills to help ease their feelings of anger, sadness and fear.”
Participants eat dinner together in a large group and then separate into smaller groups based on their age. Parents and guardians also have the opportunity to participate in an adult support group.
Monkey Business – led by trained volunteers and staff – holds groups in May and June. The program will take a break during the summer months, but will meet one-on-one with participants, if needed. The program will then pick up again in August. It is free and open to any child in the community.