Monkey Business Support Group for Kids Expanded to Meet Year-Round Need
Turlock, CA— Children who have a family member diagnosed with cancer now have year-round support available in Emanuel Cancer Center’s Monkey Business support group, which will meet every other Monday beginning July 8.
In the past, Monkey Business was an eight-week program scheduled two to three times a year.
“The program really helps kids and teens understand cancer and process their feelings while someone they love goes through treatment,” said Brittany Cotta, the social worker at Emanuel Cancer Center. “It just needed to happen more frequently, and we’re glad to be able to offer it now on an ongoing basis.”
The Monkey Business support group is for children and teens ages 5 to 17 who have a loved one with cancer. A parent or guardian must attend with the child. The group will meet alternating Mondays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. every month except December and June.
“At every meeting we have family talk time, dinner, and then break into groups for discussion and activities with parents in one group and children in another,” Cotta said. “For example, in the “What is Cancer?” session, the kids will be making sock puppets and role playing with their puppets how they could communicate their feelings.”
Nancy Daley, a facilitator with the program, said the sock puppets and other hands-on activities are an important part of the program.
“The hands-on activities help the children and teens express their feelings,” she said. “It provides a foundation to cope positively with the ups and downs that this illness can bring by providing sensory activities. The goal is to provide each child the coping skills they need to ease feelings of sadness, anger, aloneness and fear.”
The group is free, but preregistration is required. Call 209-664-5044 for more information or to register.
Opened in 2007, the Emanuel Cancer Center brings world-class cancer care to Turlock. The Center is fully accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer in recognition of its quality of treatment and care – a commendation only awarded to about 20 percent of cancer programs in the country. The Emanuel Cancer Center includes advanced diagnostic services at the Ruby E. Bergman Women’s Diagnostic Center, medical oncology, radiation oncology at Stanford Emanuel Radiation Oncology Center, surgical and other services for cancer patients and their families. Patients at Emanuel Cancer Center can also participate in clinical trials of new treatments.
For information about Emanuel Cancer Center, visit www.emanuelmedicalcenter.org/cancer.