When a child is diagnosed, life changes dramatically and immediately. Over many years of working with families of childhood cancer patients, Candlelighters has developed a portfolio of programs that address the financial and emotional stress that families encounter at the time of diagnosis and through treatment. Treatment for cancer in a child can come at a high price for families, as often their quality of life is compromised by the financial and socio-economic impacts that result from a child literally “fighting for their life” while enduring cancer treatment.

The conventional school system is often not an option for young childhood cancer patients due to the treatment regime associated with the diagnosis and the ever-present risk of infection and development of complications within regular therapy protocols. Programs to address the need for educational support in on-treatment patients include CyberKids, the E-Reader program, Resources and the Bursary program.

Many parents and caregivers of childhood cancer patients have told us “fear of the unknown” and a “thirst for knowledge and greater understanding” are two very real and often challenging things they deal with, almost on a daily basis. In addition to the provision of disease-specific resource materials and the opportunity to attend educational workshops with health care professionals and leaders from within the pediatric oncology community, Candlelighters engages both patients and parents to help them gain a better sense of their situations and develop a deeper sense of control over what is happening while learning valuable coping mechanisms.

There is no doubt, childhood cancer is expensive. A reported 1/3 of after-tax income can go to the out-of-pocket costs associated with caring for a critically ill child. The majority of double-income families see one parent stop working to help care for the ill child and manage the inevitable disruption in the household. Journey Forward provides families with gas and grocery cards to help avoid a financial crisis, however, the Patient Amenities and Special Circumstances programs are in place to help families with financial needs related to the childhood cancer diagnosis.

Temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 Health & Safety Restrictions

On Treatment Programs

  • Bursary ON
  • Courage Beads
  • CyberKids
  • Education Workshops ON
  • E-Readers
  • Gas Gift Cards
  • Hospital Support
  • Journey Forward
  • Patient Amenities
  • Resources
  • Special Circumstances
  • Support Group ON
  • Tori’s Helping Hand

On Treatment Programs

  • Bursary ON
    • Candlelighters provides support to eligible members to assist their pursuit of post-secondary education.
  • Courage Beads
    • Young cancer patients’ story of courage is honoured with these beads. For every poke, procedure, chemotherapy or surgery your child will be given a bead to add to their necklace. It will help your child tell their story.
  • CyberKids
    • For young cancer patients, the conventional school classroom is often not an option. CyberKids provides an iPad to all newly diagnosed children. Not only does it keep the entire family connected to friends and family, the youngest cancer patients use iPads to enhance early learning opportunities. School-aged children benefit greatly from the various learning apps. Not only do these devices help these children keep up academically, they often provide much needed distraction while going through medical procedures and treatment. CyberKids = Learning when you feel good = academic success!
  • Education Workshops ON
    • Candlelighters is pleased to present educational workshops designed just for Candlelighters member families! Participating members enjoy time well spent not only gaining valuable insights and information about the childhood cancer experience but also connecting with other parents and families.
  • E-Readers
    • Candlelighters E-reader program provides educational resources to help new families to better understand their child’s illness and treatment. We hope that gaining knowledge and increased understanding helps to alleviate some of the overwhelming feelings of stress associated with a childhood cancer diagnosis.
  • Gas Gift Cards
    • Candlelighters provides gas gift cards to help out with frequent hospital trips and travel to recently relapsed families.
  • Hospital Support
    • Candlelighters Comfort Packages include small toiletries for unexpected hospital stays – things to make lengthy hospital stays more comfortable for parents staying at the beside. We also provide bedside cots for parents to sleep on when their child is an in-patient on the oncology unit.
  • Journey Forward
    • Candlelighters provides various gift cards three months, six months and one-year post-diagnosis to help families through difficult times.
  • Patient Amenities
    • Candlelighters provides financial assistance when other funds are not available in a crisis situation.
  • Resources
    • Understanding a childhood cancer diagnosis can reduce stress in parents and provide a sense of control. Candlelighters provides various resources and others are available free of charge.
  • Special Circumstances
    • This fund was established to provide an extra layer of support for families along the childhood cancer journey who find themselves in particularly overwhelming situations and require additional support on an on-going basis.
  • Support Group ON
    • A childhood cancer diagnosis can be devastating for a family. Support is crucial for not just the young patient but for the whole family.
  • Tori’s Helping Hand
    • Tori’s Helping Hand is a Candlelighters program that provides funding for families coping with palliative care for their child. Funds are available for travel to other treatment centres. The fund is also applicable for families dealing with bereavement.