If you are a family in need – learn more about our Hope Fund Application.
How We Help:
- Care Package at initial diagnosis
- Hope Fund for financial crisis
- Legacy charms
- Wilmington Childhood Cancer Collaborative
- Wilmington Childhood Cancer Support Group
Initial Diagnosis Care Package
The Care Package Program was established to assist families during the initial stages of their cancer journey with a new diagnosis or relapse of cancer. The news that your child has cancer is both devastating and scary. In addition, all families in the greater Wilmington area must travel far from home for treatment. Our hope is to alleviate some of the initial financial burden by providing gas cards, a hospital cafe discount card, and parking vouchers so the family can focus on their child rather than the stress from paying for travel to medically necessary treatment.
- Hospital cafe discount card
- $50 in hospital parking vouchers
- $200 gas gift card
The Hope Fund was established to assist families experiencing a financial crisis during childhood cancer treatments. All children with cancer must travel far from home for treatment, with the closest care being at UNC or Duke’s Children’s Hospitals, and some being referred as far away as New York or Texas for specialty care or clinical trials. There are many out of pocket expenses that come with this frequent travel, including eating out at restaurants, gas, flights, hotels, and car maintenance. In addition to the travel expenses, many families can experience financial crisis due to high deductible insurance plans that leave them with thousands of dollars in medical expenses they are not prepared to pay for. The Hope Fund can assist with paying bills such as mortgage, rent, utility payments, child care, car repairs or other treatment-related expenses of families, with a child age 19 or younger, dealing with a diagnosis of pediatric cancer living in New Hanover County, Pender and Brunswick counties North Carolina.
- Mortgage/rent assistance
- Utility bill payments
- Medical travel-related expenses
- Hospital parking vouchers
- Vehicle maintenance expenses
- Hospital food vouchers
- Restaurant gift cards
- Gas gift cards
Unfortunately, many times the prognosis for a child diagnosed with cancer is poor or there is an uncertain outcome. In these cases, Child Life Specialists at UNC Children’s Hospital will get permission from families to refer them to Strut for Kids. Through our Legacy Charm Program, the Child Life Specialist works with the child to take their fingerprint on a special sterling silver mold. A jeweler from Regali Jewelry crafts the fingerprint charm, which is the same material that touched the child’s finger. It is accented with a crystal and an initial or special stamp on the back. The feedback we have received from this new program has been overwhelmingly positive. The legacy charm is about life and living – it offers a special memory for the child and family, and a chance for the child to create remembrances about their lives to give to loved ones.
Wilmington Childhood Cancer Collaborative
Strut for Kids often works with other local nonprofits and community organizations in order to refer and link families with additional help and resources that we do not directly provide. We are advocates for groups that grant wishes to children with cancer, do home makeovers, provide surf camps, and put on special free fun days for our children and their families at no cost to them. By providing these joyful experiences in combination with financial assistance, our goal is to ensure these families know they are loved and not alone on the childhood cancer journey.
Wilmington Childhood Cancer Support Group
Strut for Kids collaborates with the Wilmington Childhood Cancer Support group, which is led by Amy Hermann, a Wilmington “Cancer Mom.” The support group was formed by Hermann in 2012 after her 8-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer. “I remember feeling very alone and I desperately wanted to connect with someone who had traveled a similar journey. Plenty of people meant well when they offered their support, but I wanted to connect with other moms who know what it’s like to hear those words and who understand how it feels to watch your child fight for his/her life – all while trying to hold yourself and the rest of your family together, ” says Hermann.
Childhood cancer is not rare – it affects 1 in 285 kids. Unfortunately, these statistics have led to the growth of the support group which now includes more than 65 local families. Some of the support group families are currently in the midst of the battle, some are in remission, and some have children who have passed away.
The support group meets monthly for dinner, works together to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer events, and has a fall retreat for childhood cancer moms. For referrals to the Wilmington Childhood Cancer Support Group, please click here.