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Family Assistance

Candlelighters’ family assistance puts families first, coming alongside the whole family as they face pediatric cancer and journey through the unknown.

Whether you need rent assistance, a meal in the hospital, holiday cheer, or are looking for resources to help navigate these difficult times for your family, we are here for you!

Family Assistance


Scholarship Applications for the 2023/2024 academic year are closed as of April 15.

Follow here and on social media for news on the 2023/2024 scholarship recipients.

Application Timeline For 2023-2024 Academic Year

February 15: Opening of the application period.

April 15:  Scholarship applications due.

May 12: All applicants notified of status. Finalists are contacted.

May 24 – 26: Scholarship finalist Interviews.

June 2: Scholarship recipients notified.

July 15 – 31: Scholarship Awards sent to colleges.

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 ongoing medical issues caused by treatment. The journey doesn’t stop for families, and Candlelighters’ support doesn’t stop either.

Candlelighters’ family assistance in the form of these scholarships is awarded to high school seniors or current college students who have previously been or are currently diagnosed with cancer to support their pursuit of a higher education.

2022–2023 Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to our three scholarship recipients for the 2022–2023 academic year: Grace Ujifasa, Samantha Mederos, and Saydee King, all childhood cancer survivors with big dreams. Each recipient’s experience as a childhood cancer survivor has helped shape their lives, values, and goals in unique ways.

2023–2024 Scholarship Selection Process

Thank you to our volunteer scholarship committee members for your thorough review of the applications, and the challenging task of selection.

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 families for providing the critical funding to support Candlelighters’ 2023–2024 scholarship initiative, in memory of Owen Stolte.

Sign Up for Candlelighters Scholarship News!

Sign up to be notified when applications for the 2024–2025 Candlelighters Continuing Education Scholarships open in 2024.

Financial assistance is awarded to high school seniors or current college students who have previously been or are currently diagnosed with cancer and reside in Oregon and SW Washington, to support their pursuit of a higher education.

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2022–2023 Scholarship Recipients
Grace Ujifusa
Grace Ujifusa
Samantha Mederos
Samantha Mederos
Saydee King
Saydee King

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. The goal of Candlelighters’ family assistance is less time worrying about paying bills, and more time spent together as a family.

Families who meet the eligibility requirements below and need help on a recurring bill may receive up to $599.00 per budget year (January–December). The amount requested will be paid directly to the institution or business.

Eligibility Requirements
  • A family with a child 21 years of age or younger currently in treatment for cancer.
  • Some 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.

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 or call 503-719-4244.

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In-Hospital Family Assistance 

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

We understand that both inpatient and outpatient stays come with their own challenges. We hope that providing in-hospital programs to our families can alleviate some of the stress that comes with them. From meals and snacks to cuddly friends that make pokes easier, Candlelighters’ family assistance in the hospital provides comfort during a difficult time.

Snack Pantry

The snack pantry at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital offers hearty snacks and small meals to feed hungry tummies any time of the day. It supplements hospital meals for kids and provides meals and snacks for their families who are in the hospital with their loved one. Sourcing and scheduling a meal or snack between tests, Dr. visits, and shots can be challenging and expensive for parents who are needed at the bedside of their sick child. The convenience of a free, convenient meal gives families more time to be their child, and helps to offset the many costs of cancer.

Located in the Family Kitchen on 10 South, our snack pantry serves nearly 500 families a year.

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.

Bedside Buddies

Each month, Candlelighters delivers lovable, cuddly Bedside Buddies to children at Doernbecher and Randall 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 Wish List or read through our donation guidelines. If you have any questions about donating Bedside Buddies, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Resources for Candlelighters Families

Your well-being is important to us.

You asked for more resources—and we want to make sure that all of our families are aware of the resources available to them—so we have compiled this PDF* covering a broad range of organizations, information, and support as you navigate this journey.

Within this resource PDF you will find cancer-specific resources by category, grief and bereavement support resources by location, and general (not cancer-specific) resource guides by county in Oregon.

General Resources*

Please see below for ideas on keeping busy at home, as well as links to other websites with comprehensive resources lists, information on COVID-19, helpful apps, and more.

If you have ideas or links to resources that 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 and writing activities.

Storyline Online
Listen to story time featuring celebrated actors.

Activities for Kids
Book lists and articles to help encourage learning and engagement.

Bill Nye Home Demos
Science experiments to try at home.

Tiny Beans Fun & Games
From the best games and books to DIY crafts and experiments, find everything you need for hours of entertainment.

18 At-Home Ideas to Keep Kids Busy
Useful resources to help keep kids busy, entertained, and learning at home.

Simple Activities with Kids
Easy ideas to help pass the time and make memories.

Comprehensive Resource Lists

Food Pantries
Search for food pantries in your area, plus resources for subsidized groceries.

Search by service type and location—or use the Guided Search—to locate services for housing and shelter, utility assistance, childcare, transportation, employment, financial wellness, and more.

Oregon Statewide General Resource Sheet
Includes resources for COVID-19, mental health, parenting, food needs, and education.

Washington Community Services
Community resources and assistance (including financial, food, and medical) for Washington State.

Meditation & Mindfulness Apps

A personalized, all-in-one app for emotional health.

An emotional well-being app designed by BIWOC specifically for BIWOC.

Meditation and mindfulness for any mind, mood, or goal.

Insight Timer
Free app for sleep, anxiety, and stress.

Meditation Studio
Includes curated courses and collections for delving more deeply into specific topics and areas of life.

The Mindfulness App
Offers an introduction to mindfulness, guided meditations, timed sessions, and more.

Smiling Mind
Practice free daily meditation and mindfulness exercises.

Helplines and Crisis Lines

Crisis Text Line
Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor for free, 24/7 support.

Domestic Violence Support
Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), chat live, or text START to 88788.

National Suicide Prevention
Free, confidential, 24/7 support: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Eating Disorders
Chat online, or call or text 1-800-931-2237.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Free, confidential, 24/7 treatment referral and information services: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

*Please note that we are not affiliated with and do not endorse or recommend any organizations or activities referenced within these resources outside of those provided by Candlelighters For Children With Cancer.

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Candy Cane Lane

Candy Cane Lane is a 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 ops, and more!

If you already submitted your application, we’ll follow up with the details.

For sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, please contact Camille.

Candy Cane Lane 2020

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