PEER SUPPORT MATTERS

The Benefits of Peer Support

We believe one of the simplest and most effective ways for a parent to bring purpose to their own pain after experiencing the trauma associated with childhood cancer, is simply by helping someone else through it.  This is the foundation of all Momcology programs. Our mission is to help families find purpose through community interactions, and to assist in the goal of meaning-making and post traumatic growth.  

As many cancer protocols and chemotherapy regimens advance, it means that less time is spent at the hospital under professional care, and more time is spent at home. This increases the roles of parents as caregivers in many families as they manage administration of medicine, side-effects, coordination of care, and balancing all other aspects of a catastrophic medical diagnosis on the entire family that happens outside of the four walls of a hospital or clinic room. Because of these increased demands during an already heightened stressful and emotional experience, caregiver health can also suffer. Primary caregiver emotional and physical health has a direct impact on the wellbeing of the child. Many parents internalize the stress of balancing life and family after diagnosis, leaving the entire household feeling exhausted and broken. Parents need to have an outlet to express themselves and communicate with others who truly understand, to begin to process and "normalize" life after diagnosis.

Feelings of separation and isolation are commonly communicated effects of childhood cancer on the family. Momcology has found a way to minimize these feelings through providing a positive and restorative environment of peer social support for parents. Parents need support in the hospital room, in the infusion room, outside the operating room...and in their living rooms. Peer support can help to fill and resolve these delicate, yet extremely important time-gaps in care.

Benefits of Momcology Peer Support:

  • Reduce the feeling of isolation
  • Belong to a community
  • Stress relief
  • Compassion and empathy
  • Productive and meaningful conversations
  • Confidence and reassurance
  • Emphasis on self-care
  • Quick resource referrals based on real experience
  • Genuine best interest of each other’s children
  • Current and timely information
  • Support and encouragement is available anywhere at anytime
  • Helping others brings purpose to the pain and is healing
  • Open communication with care teams is always encouraged

As virtual connectivity continues to grow, Momcology has become the trusted parent and professionally recommended support network for childhood cancer families.   

How Peer Support Can Improve Caregiver Health

Source: Building Peer Support Programs to Manage Chronic Disease: Seven Models for Success

Prepared by:

 

Michele Heisler, M.D., M.P.A
University of Michigan

For: California Health Systems

FAQ’s: Medical Professionals

Momcology has been recognized as a valuable resource by these outstanding pediatric oncology organizations for medical professionals. Momcology has also exhibited through invitation at the following conferences to share our programs and services with the members of each organization.