Family Assistance

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Emergency Financial Assistance

The stress of a diagnosis and treatment plan can be overwhelming.

Having to deal with bills on top of that, should not have to be a worry. We want to help provide as much support as possible, and get families back to focusing on what matters most: their loved ones. When there is less time worrying about paying bills, and more time spent together as a family, we know that can make a difference.

Families who meet the eligibility requirements below that need help on a reoccurring bill may receive up to $599.00 per budget year (January to December). The amount requested will be paid directly to the institution or business with gift cards distributed for gas or grocery needs.

Eligibility requirements:

  • A family with a child 21 years of age or younger currently in treatment for cancer. Special cases will be considered for an on-going medical condition as a result of treatment.
  • A few related illnesses, treated by chemotherapy, radiation, and/or a bone marrow transplant, though technically not cancer will also be considered.

How to request funds:

  • A hospital social worker or hospital medical staff person must apply on behalf of the family.
  • Social Workers will make the request by having the family fill out an Emergency Financial Assistance application signed by a parent.
  • Parent/s must sign Candlelighters new family form provided by the social worker.

Priority is given to requests pertaining directly to utility bills, rent, mortgage, phone bills, grocery needs and emergency car maintenance.

In order to apply for Emergency Financial Assistance, contact your assigned Social Worker who can help walk you through the process. If you have not been assigned a social worker, please get in contact with Ruth at or call 503.719.4244.

Family Spotlight

Healing on the Farm

  After her son Julian was diagnosed with childhood cancer in 2019 and died in 2020, Jennifer Bridges, founder of Embrace Compassion, decided to honor his memory by making life brighter for kids with cancer. She and her family opened their farm to local families...

McCormick Family

I had never heard of retinoblastoma until I was sitting with an ophthalmologist with Derek, then 1, while 36 weeks 5 days pregnant with my second child. The Dr. was so kind. He told me to drive to Portland and be the first person in the Casey Eye Institute parking lot...

Simpson Wight Family

"In November of 2014, I noticed my 8 year old son Robert, had a swollen lymph node of the side of his neck. He felt fine and had no other symptoms, yet this swollen lymph node was large and didn't go away. I was refused appointments with his pediatrician, who insisted...

Thull Family

Jared was 11 years old when he got sick. Just about to graduate from 5th grade. It took some time to get a diagnosis. June 18, 2018, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) subtype b high risk. He is in long term maintenance and is expected to be off...

Gunsaulis Family

  Our story is like most others. You never think it can happen to "your" child. Ashlynn had just turned 4 years old and was complaining that her back was hurting. It had been hot for a few days and she fell asleep on the hardwood floor with her dog, so I figured...
About Candlelighters Scholarships

In 1996, Candlelighters For Children With Cancer established the Candlelighters Continuing Education Scholarship Program. We recognize that families can amass overwhelming debt in medical bills after years of treatment, follow up appointments, and on-going medical issues caused by treatment. The journey doesn’t stop for families, and Candlelighters support doesn’t stop either. Financial assistance is awarded to high school seniors or current college students to support their pursuit of a higher education who have previously been or are currently diagnosed with cancer.

2021-2022 Scholarship Application Timeline
Candlelighters scholarships applications for the 2021-2022 school year is now closed, and we will announce the recipients soon!

Scholarship Selection Process 2020-2021
Thank you to our volunteer committee members for your thorough review of the 10 applications, and the challenging task of selection: Cam Worsham, Melissa Rose, Wendy Patton and Natalie Walters. These volunteers have a diversity of backgrounds, including being a parent of a child diagnosed with cancer, an Executive Director of an educational nonprofit, a Social Worker Student Intern who works with children and teens, and a professional scholarship reviewer.

Candlelighters would like to thank the Hougard and Tilden family for providing the critical funding to support Candlelighters 2020 scholarship initiative in memory of Owen Stolte.

In Hospital Programs

Being in the hospital is tough enough. Candlelighters is there for support every step of the way.

We understand that both in-patient and out-patient stays come with their own challenges, and we hope by providing in hospital programs to our families, they can alleviate some of the stress that comes with them. From meals and snacks to cuddly friends that make pokes easier, our programs provide comfort to our families.


The food pantry at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital offers hearty snacks and small meals to hungry tummies at any time of the day. It can supplement hospital meals or provide relief for families who cannot afford snacks otherwise. Our food pantries serve nearly 500 families a year. The food pantry is located in the Family Kitchen on 10 South.


NOTE: These meal programs are currently on hold due to COVID19 safety measures in place at hospitals.

Sometimes you just need a good snack or a hot meal to make a tough day a little bit easier. Candlelighters wants to make sure that families in the hospital are provided with meals to keep them going through their long days. We also want to make sure more time can be spent by their patient’s side, and less time searching for a meal. Purchasing additional meals can be costly as well, and our aim with both our in hospital meals and food pantry is to help ease that burden.

Dinner at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital provides 24 meals annually to upwards of 75 meals on a busy night, and impacts an average of 15-20 families.

Providing lunch to patients at Randall Children’s Hospital makes a long, hard day a little bit easier. Here we serve 12 lunches annually and make a difference for 10-15 families during their stay.


Each month Candlelighters delivers nearly 100 lovable, cuddly Bedside Buddies to children at Doernbecher who have recently been diagnosed with cancer. These soft, furry stuffed animals are cheerfully waiting on hospital beds to greet any newly admitted child and there to cling to for reassurance when a child is facing a painful procedure, chemotherapy, scans and more. Our Bedside Buddies can also be found in the arms of children in outpatient oncology and radiation clinics. Although they are only a small distraction from the difficult path each child travels with cancer, they still provide comfort and can bring a smile on a tough day. If you would like to organize a drive for Bedside Buddies, or donate new Bedside Buddies, please contact us for details.

Volunteer Spotlight

Central Oregon Chair, Kimberly Banner

"I first learned about Candlelighters in 2014, when my daughter was diagnosed with AML at the age of 10. We stayed at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital throughout her treatment and met some of the Candlelighters staff when they served dinner or stocked the food pantry....
Candy Cane Lane (Seasonal)

Candy Cane Lane

This past December 2020, 60 families participated in our annual Candy Cane Lane. Some arrived with a van full of kids, some parents picked up gifts for a child too sick to come. All left with a trunk full of gifts, and hopefully hearts full of extra joy and hope. We want to thank all of our volunteers, sponsors and
Westside A Jesus Church for the use of their facility and a surprise gift – generous gift cards for families. Check out our Volunteer Spotlight about Salena Griffith, who dedicates her energy and talents to Candy Cane Lane each year with amazing results.
If you are a family looking to participate in Candy Cane Lane 2021, please contact Lisa.

For Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, please contact Sarah.

Candy Cane Lane 2020
Resources for Parents and Caregivers

Parent and Caregiver Support Group

Connecting with other parents and caregivers who understand what having a child diagnosed with cancer is helpful. Join our online support group meetings, facilitated by Dr. Marianne Kabour. This will be a chance to meet other parents and caregivers so that you can share your thoughts, stories, and concerns relating to childhood cancer. If there?s a specific topic you would like to address, please send it ahead of time.

Upcoming Meeting

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

5:45 pm.

Sign Up

Childhood Cancer Resources and Organizations

You asked for more resources, so we put together this PDF list of a wide range of organizations and information specifically related to childhood cancer. Note that these are independent organizations, not affiliated with Candlelighters.

Candlelighters Resources List PDF

General Resources

Your well being is important to us, and we want to make sure that you know about all of the resources* available to you. Please see below for ideas on keeping busy at home, as well as links to other website with information on Coronavirus support guides, helpful apps, and articles. If you have ideas or links to resources you think would be useful to our community, please email Lisa.

Fun Things to Do At Home With Kids

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Mo welcomes you into his studio at home and guides you through drawing/writing activities

Story Online

Listen to story time from celebs at Storyline Online

Lesson Plans

Lesson plans and projects by grade (up to 9th?grade)

Family activity ideas and virtual events for kids (regardless of location):


18 At-Home Ideas To Keep Kids Busy

Useful Articles

Oregon coronavirus layoffs: What to do when you?ve lost your job

Washington State: For Workers affected by Covid-19

Meditation Apps
Comprehensive Lists of Resources
Information about food pantries, shelters, utility assistance programs, information in Spanish, ideas on entertainment, etc.

Please check your local school district’s websites for your local resources. Many are providing free grab and go meals, remote learning resources, and more information on local support in your community.

Helplines and Crisislines

Food Resources for food pantries in your area.

Crisis Text Line (24/7 Text Support)

@CrisisTextline (Instagram)

Domestic Violence and Abuse

National Suicide Prevention


Eating Disorders

Substance Abuse

*Please note that we’re not affiliated with, endorsing or recommending any of these organizations or activities.

Family Activities

T-Shirt Design Contest is Back!

 T-Shirt Design Contest is back! All Candlelighters families who participate in any of these summer activities will get a shirt. Would you like to help design it? All family members are invited to submit a design by June 18th. See below for guidelines. The winner...

Sign up! Camp Outside the Box + In Person Activities

Summer is around the corner, and we are excited to host in-person family activities in August. Join us for some fun and opportunities to meet other Candlelighters families! In addition to the in-person activities, we will also host our virtual Family Camp, Camp...

June Family Game Night – Trivia!

Join us on June 24, at 5 pm for a fun afternoon of trivia. We will be using Zoom to chat and playing on Kahoot! We will award an Amazon gift card for the most guesses. The Zoom link will be emailed out before the event date. Topic: Pride Month Sign Up Here!

July Parent & Caregiver Support Group

Are you a parent or caregiver of a child diagnosed with cancer? Connect, share and learn with other  parents facing childhood cancer. Learn more or Sign up for July's parent & caregiver support group, facilitated by Dr. Marianne Kabour.  

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