|Sibling Support Programs|
Zichron Menachem appreciates the importance of holistic healing, and thus extends its daily support to all members of the family—the cancer patient, his parents, siblings, and children with sick parents. Special programs were crafted in order to facilitate the respective needs of each group.
Chaim and Miri Ehrental endured the heartbreak of watching their sick child and his siblings suffer throughout long, difficult years of treatment. They know what it is that parents and siblings are going through. And today, they use their combined heart-wrenching experiences to help families as a whole unit navigate the obstacle-strewn cancer road as smoothly and painlessly as possible.
Support for siblings—A daily lifesaver
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the majority of the family’s physical and emotional resources are invested into him or her. As such, it’s almost inevitable that the other children in the family suffer feelings of abandonment and neglect. They may go to sleep hungry, because their mother had no time to go grocery shopping or make supper. Nourishing meals, ironed clothing, homework help, and spending family quality time are sweet memories of the past. Even when the parents are home, they are usually too exhausted and high-strung to deal with them and their individual needs as children.
Siblings of cancer patients often suffer academically as well. Their concentration is not at its peak due to anxiety, lack of nourishing meals, and minimal adult supervision. In many unfortunate cases, siblings have turned to the streets and sampled drugs in a desperate cry for attention and love.
Zichron Menachem runs special after-school activities for siblings of cancer patients. This is vital attention for the children and a welcome respite to parents, who can rest assured that their children are in a safe place, eating meals, and benefiting from loving emotional support that they need, homework help, and constructive recreational activities. After-school programs at the Day Center free parents to spend afternoon hours with their sick child in the hospital.
The Day Center designates a special room for siblings of cancer patients. Volunteer drivers for Zichron Menachem bring the children straight from school to the Center and drive them home in the evenings, happy and well-fed. The kids eat, prepare their homework, study for tests with private tutors, and participate in a variety of fun enrichment activities.
At the Day Center, siblings of cancer patients meet kids like them who are enduring similar challenges and hardships. The warm, open environment breeds closeness, discussion, and sentiments of relief in the awareness that they are not alone in their suffering.
Zichron Menachem’s Day Center helps parents cope with the daily challenges in their lives, while providing for the burning needs of their children who desperately crave love and attention.
Support for children with a cancer-stricken parent
Despite slight emotional differences between children with a sick parent and children with a sick sibling, they still share much in common. At Zichron Menachem, we open our doors to children with sick parents, easing their emotional suffering and assisting the parent who is dividing his time between accompanying his spouse for treatments and managing a household. Children with sick parents are invited to participate in our special sibling programs and also benefit from the emotional support that they need and deserve.
Our on-site psychologist is available for private sessions, couple sessions, and family meetings, free of charge. At Zichron Menachem, we understand that every family, without exception, is enduring tremendous suffering, and they all need and deserve professional support.
In addition, the Day Center also runs support groups for siblings of cancer patients and parents' support programs.