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!
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.
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 Nicole If you’re looking to help Candlelighters keep the pantry full, please see our shopping list on Amazon.
After a long hiatus, Candlelighters’ beloved Snack Cart is back at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital! Each Friday, Candlelighters makes the rounds at 10 South inpatient and clinic, offering kids and parents sweet and salty treats, juice and small toys from our colorful snack cart. It’s a nice way to say hi, and bring a little cheer to kids and families when they are often stuck in their rooms for long periods of time. It’s sometimes the little things like the snack cart that kids and parents recall the most fondly when they think about meeting Candlelighters for the first time.
If you’re looking to help Candlelighters keep the snack cart full, please see our shopping list on Amazon.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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 Nicole.
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.
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.
Virtual Ways to Pass the Time
Aquarium Live Webcams
- Aquarium of the Pacific
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium
- Georgia Aquarium
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- National Aquarium
- Tennessee Aquarium
Zoo Live Webcams
- Bronx Zoo
- Chattanooga Zoo
- Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo
- Houston Zoo
- Indianapolis Zoo
- Kansas City Zoo
- Maryland Zoo
- Memphis Zoo
- Milwaukee County Zoo
- National Zoo
- Oakland Zoo
- San Diego Zoo
- Sedgwick County Zoo
Comprehensive Resource Lists
Search for food pantries in your area, plus resources for subsidized groceries.
Search by service type and locationâ€”or use the Guided Searchâ€”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.
COVID-19 Resources, Information, and Support Guides
General Resource Lists & Support Guides
- U.S. Federal COVID-19 Resources
- NAMI COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide
- COVID-19 Emergency Relief Resources for Portland & Beyond
- Community Resources for COVID Impacts for Lane County & Oregon
- Coronavirus Support Guide: How to Stay Strong & Navigate This Time Together
- U.S. Department of Labor Coronavirus Resources
- USDOL Wage and Hour Division Essential Protections
- Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division COVID-19 Updates
- COVID-19 and Oregon OSHA
- Oregon Coronavirus Layoffs: What to Do When Youâ€™ve Lost Your Job
- Washington State Employment Security Department COVID-19 Information
- COVID-19: What People with Cancer Should Know
- Coronavirus, COVID-19, and Cancer
- What Cancer Patients, Survivors, and Caregivers Need to Know about COVID-19
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.
Free app for sleep, anxiety, and stress.
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.
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).
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.
2023-2024 Scholarship Recipients
2023-2024 Scholarship Recipients
Thanks to our generous Candlelighters community we are able to give out more scholarship awards than ever before!
Congratulations to our scholarship recipients for the 2023-2024 academic year, Aidyn Reed, Erin Drew, McKenna Matteson, Casper Weeks, Jack Robarge, Miller Cyr, Sawyer Wolf, and Beau Dawson! Click on each recipient at right to learn more about their journey with childhood cancer, and what they plan to study in the Fall.
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.
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.
Finding Candlelighter’s and the Luminaries teen support group was a major turning point for me and my mental health. Being a part of the support group helped me start to open up to others and talk about the experiences that I had been struggling with because I was able to see I wasn’t alone.
Some of my hobbies include playing video games, painting, and calling friends. I also enjoy spending time with my family and watching movies and tv shows. I plan on studying psychology at Western Oregon University in the fall. Even though I wasn’t very involved during my high school years, I’m hopeful that college will be a different experience and I will have the opportunity to be more involved with my classmates.
I was diagnosed with leukemia in October of my freshman year of high school when I was 14. Five months after I was diagnosed, the world was hit with the covid pandemic. My parents would often say how we were living the covid lifestyle those five months prior. Personally, I was less focused on the worry going on with the pandemic and more aware of how isolated I was not just because of my cancer, but also because of covid. I found myself distancing myself from friends because none of them could really understand what I was dealing with and the isolation really affected my mental health.
When I learned about Candlelighter’s I felt hopeful that I would find others who really understood my struggles. I’m so thankful that I found a whole group of people who knew what I was going through. Finding Candlelighter’s and the Luminaries teen support group was a major turning point for me and my mental health. Being a part of the support group helped me start to open up to others and talk about the experiences that I had been struggling with because I was able to see I wasn’t alone. I was able to break out of my isolation because of the Luminaries and I will forever be grateful for the support I received and friendships I made through Candlelighters.
I plan on attending California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo and will be majoring in Microbiology. I was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of three and was battling until I was six years old. Candlelighters was there for me and my family during this difficult time. I can recall attending one of Candlelighters overnight camps and having a blast doing all of the activities they had set up for us.
Childhood Cancer Survivor
Â When I was a kid I wanted to be a Child Life Specialist because they cheered up kids like me who were sick. I enjoyed it so much when they stopped by to play, even if it was only for a little while. It made me kind of forget that I was sick. Most people have their whole lives to think about things they want to do after high school, but I didn’t think much about my future, I tried my best to live in the moment. I didn’t even expect to graduate high school. Even though I was young when I was diagnosed, I still understood that having cancer isn’t going to be easy.
As a kid the hospital was fun, at least my mom made it that way. Spending all day in bed playing board games with my mom made me forget that I was too weak to walk on my own. When I was in the hospital, volunteers would bring in their service dogs, and nothing in the whole world meant more to me than a dog did. The reason is simple: dogs are naturally happy no matter what. I admire that. Even when my dog Jesse was sick or had joint pain he was still happy, no one was happier to see me than Jesse. I got Jesse from a Make-A-Wish fundraiser event that I helped sell tickets for. I had him for 14 years, he was my best friend. The day he passed was when I started being interested in being a veterinarian.
When I go to Lane Community College I want to take an animal anatomy class, as well as a human psychology class. Oncology and anesthesiology interest me as well. The hospital shaped me into who I am today. I have so many core memories that I could talk about for hours. Beating cancer makes you have high hopes for yourself, I want to achieve a lot and I have a lot to learn. Candlelighters have given me a lot in my life. They gave me an environment that I felt normal in. Being surrounded by people who understand is what shined light on my dark cancer journey.
Brain Tumor Survivor
I have always loved all things mechanical, which led to my biggest hobby, working on my car – a 1990 Toyota Supra. I also enjoy building and flying model airplanes. Rounding out my mechanical hobbies, throughout high school I was a member of the robotics team, which was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed.
I am entering into my sophomore year of college at George Fox University this fall where I will be continuing in my pursuit of a degree in mechanical engineering.
My cancer diagnosis was a difficult blow for me as someone who has always been very active. When I was diagnosed, I had to undergo a serious surgery to remove a tumor embedded in my spinal column. The nerve damage this tumor caused made me unable to walk without assistance for months. This sudden lack of mobility was a huge change from the person who played varsity football as well as varsity golf throughout high school. However throughout all of this I had great friends and family supporting me and helping me to retain as much of a sense of normalcy as possible. For my battle with cancer, my biggest help has come from retaining a positive attitude and leaning on my friends and family.
Candlelighters have always been an encouragement to me as I’ve spent lots of time in hospitals and have received several care packages and gifts from Candlelighters. These gifts are always welcome distractions from treatments.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoblastic Lymphoma Survivor
I am a resilient individual who has been through a challenging journey with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoblastic Lymphoma of the T-cell from March 2020 to June 2022. Despite facing
such adversity, I have managed to maintain a positive outlook on life. In Lakeview High School, I was actively involved in several activities, including being a Future Farmers of America (FFA) member, where I developed a passion for agriculture and agribusiness. Additionally, I enjoyed playing golf, honing my skills on the course, and enjoying the actual ease of mind of the sport. Another significant part of my life was serving as a Make-A-Wish Oregon Ambassador in 2021-2022, where I had the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children with critical illnesses by granting their heartfelt wishes
by raising money.
In the fall, I plan to attend the University of Idaho to study Operating System Management with a minor in entrepreneurship. I am excited to embark on this educational journey and gain a deep understanding of the manufacturing industry while exploring my interest in entrepreneurship.
During my battle with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoblastic Lymphoma of the T-cell, I faced numerous challenges further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dealing with cancer during a global health crisis brought its own set of difficulties. I had to navigate the complexities of accessing medical treatments and managing my health while taking precautions to protect myself from the virus while traveling to Doernbechers in Portland and Asante in Medford for treatment. The isolation caused by lockdowns and restrictionsmade finding support and maintaining a sense of normalcy even more challenging.
However, I learned to adapt and found strength with the help of my loved ones, medical professionals, and the community of Lakeview. Through my experience, I have developed a deep empathy for others facing similar challenges. I have become passionate about raising awareness and sharing my story to help others going through hardships of their own.
Candlelighters will always hold a special place in my heart for helping me further my education.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Survivor
I love to play my violin, work out, and hang out with friends. I also love watching sports (baseball specifically) and cheering on the Mariners. I was involved in our school through the orchestra, mariachi ensemble, honor society, cross country, baseball, and HOSA club. I graduated in the top 5% of my class with a 4.0 and was a semifinalist for the United States Presidential Scholarship. I plan to attend Lower Columbia College in the fall to major in nursing. Afterward, I want to go into oncology and help those put in the same position I was in.
My cancer experience was one of gratitude and learning to appreciate every day. I was diagnosed when I was 4, almost 5 years old, and went through 3 and a half years of treatment. I had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and was fortunate enough to get my treatment done at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, where the medical professionals inspired me and gave me hope for my future. Finally, my favorite experiences with Candlelighters were all of the extra events including Camp Harlow Family camp and the Christmas party. I looked forward to these events while I was going through treatment. It meant the world for my family and me to have a way to connect with other families going through the same thing. Candlelighters presented us with the opportunity to escape from all the hard parts of cancer treatment and instead gave my family and I hope. It was truly a blessing at some of our hardest times ever. I will be forever grateful for all Candlelighters has done in my life.
Childhood Cancer Survivor
I am a recently tigard high school graduate and I love to play basketball, golf, go eat good food and shop with my girlfriend. I was involved with sports teams outside of my own sports through sports photography I took photos for the football team and volley ball team for social media and I as well ran the football social media and the track social media.
I am attending Linfield university in the fall to pursue and education in business snd marketing while getting a minor or certificate in wine studies.
My cancer diagnosis came at a very young age of 2 and last till I was 5. While I do not remember much do to be so young and chemo brain I can still feel that pain neurologically logged inside of my body.
AML (Leukemia) Survivor
My name is Beau and I’m going to Southern Oregon University in the fall. I have been interested in art and drawing since I was little, and hope to study creative writing so I can incorporate storytelling into my work. I’ve lived in the forest my whole life and enjoy being in nature and doing recreational activities like hiking, paddleboarding, skiing, snorkeling, kayaking, swimming, etc. Throughout high school I have been in different ASB and class officer positions, and hope to continue a leadership role in college.
I was diagnosed with AML leukemia at age 10 which led to many other complications like GVHD, hemorrhage, thyroid cancer, kidney failure, and others. I plan on using experiences I struggled with as inspiration to share my story through art and help heal others going through the same situations. My favorite memory of Candlelighters is how they put stuffed animals on all the pillows at the children’s hospital, so my mom and I donated a bunch of plushies to a Candlelighter’s office so kids won’t have to go through it alone.