Survivorship is the longest period in the childhood cancer journey for most young cancer patients. For families of children with cancer, life has changed forever. Parents transition to their new normal which feels unfamiliar and causes anxiety for many. Providing an opportunity for ongoing education to help parents know what the potential impacts of treatment are and how to recognize and address them, as well as to stay connected to their ‘oncology family’ have been identified as most important to parents of survivors.

The patients themselves move on with life as cancer survivors. The fear of recurrence is ever present. The feeling of being ‘different’ is common. Bringing childhood cancer survivors together with one another to share experiences and gain social skills helps with self-confidence and self-acceptance.

The key areas for survivor support are to support their schooling, which may have been impacted as a result of cancer treatment, ensure there is long-term and ongoing medical follow-up, to address the psychological and emotional Late Effects of childhood cancer treatment to help ensure the best quality of life possible for the survivor. There are numerous Late Effects from cancer treatment, but some of the most common and significant include: Neurocognitive – resulting in inattention and memory impairment; Growth – both physical and emotional can be effected; and Psychosocial Factors – fatigue and sleep problems, the impact of long absences from school and failure to complete high school and/or lower educational achievement, inability to form social connections, and self-esteem issues.

Temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 Health & Safety Restrictions

Survivor Programs

  • Bursary OFF
  • Survivor Drop-In Support Group
  • Education Support Survivor
  • Education Workshops OFF
  • End of Treatment
  • Support Groups OFF
  • Survivor Conference
  • YSI – Youth Survivor Initiative

Survivor Programs

  • Bursary OFF
    • Candlelighters provides support to eligible off-treatment members to assist their pursuit of a post-secondary education.
  • Survivor Drop-In Support Group
    • Survivorship is most often the longest part of the childhood cancer journey. Candlelighters is committed to addressing the need for additional support in the survivor population. Survivors of childhood cancer often have long term affects that could benefit from counselling support. This program provides funding and the opportunity to access psychosocial care.
  • Education Support Survivor
    • This program gives childhood cancer survivors an opportunity to apply for financial support to assist their educational endeavours. The program is for school-aged and adolescent survivors of childhood cancer who are coping with cognitive late effects of the cancer treatment that is negatively impacting their educational endeavours.
  • Education Workshops OFF
    • Candlelighters presents educational workshops designed just for off treatment member families. Participating members enjoy time well spent not only gaining valuable insights and information about childhood cancer survivorship experiences but also connecting with other parents and families.
  • End of Treatment
    • Everyone agrees that ‘End of Treatment’ is an important milestone along the childhood cancer journey and one worth celebrating! With thanks to our program sponsor “Gabriella’s Groupies” Candlelighters sends out these special packages that include a gift and medal, as well as the highly coveted gold End of Treatment bead, specially packaged in a gold box.
  • Support Groups OFF
    • Support is crucial for not just the young patient but for parents and siblings as well. Candlelighters offers a number of support programs so families know they aren’t alone.
  • Survivor Conference
    • There are a number of survivor specific conferences that exist internationally that could be very beneficial for a member to participate in.
  • YSI – Youth Survivor Initiative
    • YSI is a program for Candlelighters members aged 13-18 who have been off treatment for a minimum of 1 year. The purpose of the group is to provide teen survivors with an opportunity to connect in a social setting. The YSI Program runs from September to June with a variety of events planned throughout the year.