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

The Perkins Family

14 year old Alex is a die hard San Francisco 49r fan, whose favorite player is Jimmy Garoppolo. Alex loves anything Marvel. He watches all the movies, reads the comics, collects the figures, and even wrote Marvel and received an honorary avenger badge. Alex loves the...

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 Recipients
Congratulations to our three Scholarship Recipients for the 2021-2022 Academic Year, Erin Morrison, Cameron Caldwell, and Anna Seely, all childhood cancer survivors with big dreams. Each recipient’s past experience as a childhood cancer survivor helped shape their lives, values and goals in unique ways.

Scholarship Selection Process 2020-2021
Thank you to our volunteer committee members for your thorough review of the applications, and the challenging task of selection: Melissa Rose, Margie Jones, Alisha Steigerwald and Lauren Conn. These volunteers have a diversity of backgrounds, including being a parent of a child diagnosed with cancer, 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 2021 scholarship initiative in memory of Owen Stolte.

Sign Up for Candlelighters Scholarship News!

Sign up to be notified when applications for 2022-2023 Candlelighters Scholarships open in February of 2022. 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 and reside in Oregon and SW Washington.
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2021-2022 Scholarship Recipients

Erin Morrison

Erin Morrison

Cameron Caldwell

Cameron Caldwell

Anna Seely

Anna Seely

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. If your family is in treatment, and you have a specific request for food items in the pantry, please email Lisa. If you’re looking to help Candlelighters keep the pantry full, please see our shopping list on Amazon.


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, you can order directly from our Bedside Buddy Wishlist, or contact us for support or questions.

Volunteer Spotlight

Partner Spotlight: Don Jones of John L. Scott

We know that Don Jones of John L Scott Real Estate has been a rider and that John L Scott has been a  sponsor of Ride for a Child for years. But we wanted to learn more about the how and why he chose to give to Ride for a Child...Here's his story. Q How did you get...

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....

Margie Jones

If you've ever received a thank you note from Candlelighters, you would recognize Margie Jones's beautiful handwriting. Margie shows up cheerfully every week at the Candlelighters office, ready to file, enter data, hand write thank you letters, or anything else that...

Daniel Connors

Daniel Connors is one of those people who shows up when needed, on time and always with a smile. He doesn't expect credit, and it wasn't until we started looking for pictures of him did we realize just how many Candlelighters events he has been part of - Golf to...

Salena Griffith

The Holidays around Candlelighters this year looked a little different. Our usual in-person events manifested in different ways to keep families safe. However, one thing that hasn't changed is the sight of Salena unloading present after beautifully wrapped present for...
Candy Cane Lane

Candy Cane Lane

Candy Cane Lane is a holiday gift sponsorship program for Candlelighters families in need of financial assistance during the holiday season. Candlelighters matches eligible families to a sponsor, and then supplies sponsors with the wish list for each family member. In December, families visit Candy Cane Lane to pick up holiday gifts, and enjoy a festive event with treats, characters, photo opps, and more.

If you are a family looking to participate in Candy Cane Lane 2021, applications are due by October 22. Not sure if you are eligible or want to learn more? All the details can be found on the application. If you have further questions, please contact Lisa.

For Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, please contact Moana, or sign up to be a sponsor here.

Candy Cane Lane 2020
Resources for Parents and Caregivers

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

February Parent & Caregiver Support Group

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. All parents and caregivers are...

Family Activities Calendar

Each month, we have recurring online meetings for parents and youth. Luminaries Youth Group The Luminaries is Candlelighters youth and young adult program whose focus is on increasing positive social interactions amongst youth while building leadership skills. The...

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